Hundreds of thousands of people in danger of starvation in Somalia!
Humanitarian groups have warned of a major famine in Somalia, which could be a repeat of the 2011 famine during which more than 260,000 people starved to death. There has been a severe drought in the country, and the inflation has made life hell for ordinary people.
The ran forecasts for this year are also very bad, which means the people of Somalia are under great risk, unless something immediate and massive is done to stop this disaster in the making.
The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) has said that almost 3 million people face immediate crisis within the country. They have categorized the situation as an emergency, and have said that food insecurity is so high that Somalia is one step away from a famine.
Children are the worst affected. There are over 363,000 severely malnourished children within the country. Dick Trenchard, of the Food and Agriculture Organisation: “The latest report tells us that we risk famine in several areas of Somalia in the coming months. The warning could not be clearer and it could not be more stark. What worries most is the projected speed of deterioration, the scale – in terms of number of people at risk, the geography and the very real risk of a significant worsening.”
Hassan Saadi Noor, who heads the NGO Save the Children in Somalia, said: “With the spring rains expected to be much lower than average, we have a small window to stop what happened in 2011 from happening again – but that window is quickly shutting.
“Five years ago, more than a quarter of a million lives were needlessly lost, 130,000 of them children. We simply cannot have a repeat of that tragedy. The only way to prevent this devastating loss of life is for donors and international leaders to act now,” Mr. Noor added.
Abdurahman Sharif, who is the director of the Somalia NGO Consortium, explained how tense the situation was: “Food security is very bad in certain areas and we also have access limitations. A lot of people are concerned about the famine that happened in 2011. That hit southern central Somalia. Here we have a situation that has hit the whole of Somalia. One of the big failures of 2011 is we didn’t act in time and we do not want to repeat those mistakes.
“The very sad fact is that we have competing priorities. The situation in Yemen is very bad, Syria is bad. But we are asking NGOs, the UN, the donor agencies, to scale up their response,” he added.
While hunger has disappeared in much of the world, in countries such as Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia, hunger is at a very dangerous level. Even Ethiopia and Kenya have been badly affected.
Arif Husain, a chief economist at World Food Programme and a leading expert on food security said, “The difference is, before we had the drought of 2010, we had a good season, so people had some coping strategies. This time around, the previous rains have been bad, so people are at a lower level of coping.
“The last famine was declared in July 2011, but the excessive mortality had started to happen in April and May. We are starting in February, so that people can see the urgency of the situation,” Mr. Husain added.
Author: Raghav Hegde – India