A lot of articles on Somalia’s famine have been accumulating in my Somalia file, and today seems like a good today to put them into roundup form. Here goes:
- Organizational websites on the crisis: the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), World Food Program, USAID, DfID, and Oxfam. There are many more.
- Full text of remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, delivered at the International Food Policy Research Institute on Thursday, August 11.
- Somalia suffers not only from a famine, but also a cholera epidemic.
- On the causes of the famine: Charles Kenny, Owen Barder, Stewart M. Patrick, Ken Menkhaus, and the BBC’s Andrew Harding.
- Possible solutions from Edward Carr and Mark Leon Goldberg.
- Critiques of the media’s coverage of the famine from Katy Migiro and Rasna Warah. A criticism of aid agencies from morealtitude.
- On how violence complicates aid delivery: Dana Hughes, Ariel Zirulnick, and morealtitude.
- Life for refugees is hard in Mogadishu and in border towns like Dhobley.
- In a major symbolic gesture, Somaliland has offered aid to southern Somalia: “It is the first time Somaliland will dispatch a humanitarian aid to another state.”
- Al Shabab fighters have mostly pulled out of the capital Mogadishu, but danger remains. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is calling “for the creation of a special humanitarian force to protect food aid convoys and feeding camps.”
- Finally, this Al Jazeera program on the drought is well worth watching. Several guests persuasively argue that without long-term strategies to deal with drought, crises will recur year after year in East Africa.
Feel free to post relevant links in the comments. What is your understanding of causes of the famine? What do you think could help the situation?
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I’m a bit worried that the focus of the news on Somalia might lead donations to be focused largely there to the detriment of the rest of the Horn of Africa. That isn’t to say that the Somali need is not rather obvious, but conversations I have had with well meaning middle-class citizens suggests that they are largely motivated by the most famous crisis.
On the protection of aid I wonder where they expect the soldiers to come from. Presumably it would be the U.N but I have my doubts as to whether the U.S will be willing to fund it at the moment, whether any other nation would take up the financial slack and whether any nation would be willing to increase the number of soldiers there.
Lastly I find Somaliland interesting. Are they storing up political capital for later?
On Somaliland, I think that in addition to a genuine desire to aid their (pseudo?) countrymen, they do have a political motive, which is reminding outsiders that Somaliland has a functional government that has managed to cope with the drought there, at least to the extent that it has not become a full-blown famine.
Good points about the focus on Somalia. Did you see this? http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/East-Africa-Community-Ministers-to-Meet-Over-Drought–127699203.html
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