The Horn of Africa, the urgency endures
Lack of water affects crops; grain prices are soaring; in this area of intense pastoralism, livestock is the first hit. Men, women, children are forced into exile. In late June, 20,000 Somalis arrived in the largest refugee camp in the world, Daadab.
Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia. Three countries decimated by famine. In Somalia, the country most affected by famine, conflicts exacerbate the situation, interfering with the delivery of aid.
What is the current situation of the Horn of Africa’s food crisis?
The online issue of Le Monde published an interview with Elise Ford, spokeswoman for Oxfam, which clearly outlines the difficulties encountered in the field by the best of wills. On Monday, September 5, 2011, Bay, a sixth Somalian region, was listed as suffering from famine, with 58% of its population suffering.
“And the October rains may be insufficient,” said Elise Ford. However, aid is still possible, “we must find creative ways to reach the populations”.
UNICEF, with 40 years of field presence in Somalia, issued a press release suggesting efforts are far from useless, since “In general, the situation is improving in areas covered by UNICEF programs, where children have access to nutritional and medical treatment, drinking water, health care, food, etc.” Aid must be strengthened and continue. A little over 1 billion dollars have already been mobilized, but given the scale of the crisis, more will probably be needed for 12.4 million people are currently in danger.