Famine in Somalia has vastly affected the lives of the people living in Somalia. More than 3.7 million people across Somalia are affected by famine and thus the United Nations has declared it a national disaster (Harris, 2011). It is sad to know the fact that nearly half the population living in the south of Somalia is malnourished. What are we doing about it? Are we providing these people with the appropriate food aid they require? Remember, these people did not choose to be born in Somalia where there is famine just as we did not choose to be born in areas that have plenty of food. Last year, I happened to go to this country to donate food. I almost committed suicide after seeing the horrible conditions that these people live in and yet we do nothing. I remember I saw a young boy dead as a doorknob lying next to her mother who kept on weeping. I could count the ribs of the mother since she had lived for weeks without food. After this experience, I cried since I knew at home we threw away food. This famine has caused people and livestock in Somalia to die and caused the economy of this area to depreciate. Nevertheless, donors are always slow to act.
The horn of Africa has been prone to drought and famine for a very long time. The famine that is in Somalia now is definitely the worst food crises in two decades even if it is compared to the 1992 famine that killed 300,000 people (Harris, 2011). This is because this famine is accompanied with skyrocketing food prices and violent political strife between the Al- Shaabab and the military troops from Kenya. Across the region, more than 12 million people face the risk of starvation. According to the UN reports, 3 million people need immediate life saving assistance and 750, 000 face the risk of dying. Shockingly, about 29,000 children in this country died since they starved to death due to lack of food (Kyama, 2011). The refugee camp in Dadaab is filled with Somalis who are desperate for food and medical attention. According to the UN reports, more than 30,000 refugees from this country arrived in Kenya between June and July. Furthermore, most of the refugees suffer from Cholera and Acute Water Diarrhea that has claimed the lives of many Somali children.
What has really caused the famine situation in this country? Drought, high food prices and violent political instability are the main factors contributing to famine. Short rains that mainly fall between October and December failed to fall as expected (Oltman, 2011). Scientists argue that the global climate change could have caused the drought in Somalia. They warned that that the Africa was heating at a faster rate compared to the rest of the world. Deforestation activities among Africans mainly cause climate change. The political instability in Somalia could also be a factor contributing to famine. Few relief aid organizations provide food support to Somalia since they fear militiamen who sometimes raid the caravans supplying food (Oltman, 2011). In addition to this, Somalia has not had a stable government since the 1991 civil war. The Transitional Federal Government is corrupt and ineffective and thus they do not support food aid programs.
What are people doing to help the famine situation in Somalia? According to UN report, it needs $ 2.5 billion to respond to the famine situation in Somali. It has only managed to raise 62 percent of this money (Hicks, 2011). CARE, a food aid donor has assisted 164, 000 Somalis families by giving them money to help buy food and clothes to wear (Harris, 2011). Furthermore, it has given the refugees in Dadaab food, water and educational materials. The Red Cross has offered medical assistance to the refugees suffering from Cholera.
In conclusion, it is evident that Famine in Somalia has vastly affected the lives of the people in Somalia. It has led to the death of livestock and people in Somalia. This famine is mainly caused by drought, high food prices and political instability. Organizations such as UN, CARE and Red Cross have tried to help the hunger situation in Somalia. I kindly ask you to volunteer by sending your donations to the UN website. No matter how small you may think your donation is, I assure you that you might be saving the life of a child who might be great in the future. Most of you complain when you skip one meal. This person in Somali skips food for about a week. Please try to help since they are our brothers and sisters. Thank you.