February 1, 2013
Famine in Somalia
Both drought and warfare are to blame for the famine that engulfs Somalia today. Famine is an extreme and long term shortage of food which causes widespread hunger, and sometimes, death to millions of people. In the 1990’s, more than 330,000 people died of famine. The United Nations have reported that this is the first famine in east Africa this century. According to the UN (United Nations), east Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years; and there are over 10 million people threatened by starvation in four countries: Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. The drought is mainly caused by lack of rain in the region, and inadequate finances from the government for irrigation and agricultural projects. Without an adequate rain supply for the crops to grow, there is not enough food to feed the people. During the past two years, nearly 25% of Somalia’s population has been displaced by the drought. In addition, warfare has played a major role in this country’s widespread famine. Wars have plagued this region for many, many years. Now, Somalia is anarchy, led by al-Shabab, a militant Islamist group from Somalia). They have full control over the region and they deny that there is a famine. It is difficult and very dangerous for any group to attempt to provide aid and food into Somalia, because of this group. They do not trust anyone. They believe Western aid workers may be spies.
The international organizations in intervention are not very effective. Given that al-Shabab has placed a ban on aid groups, help for Somalia has not been permitted. Therefore, the effort and attempts of aid groups to help the country have become less successful. Before the ban was in place, the arrival of food and other items from aid organizations, to those in need, was not guaranteed. Looting of the materials by gunmen caused the effectiveness of the groups’ efforts to be questioned. As a...