It is a scandal that we are battling famine in the 21st century - and that the growing crisis in this region was ignored
The droughts in Somalia, whose people have been battling a devastating civil war for more than two decades, are the worst in 60 years. There are 3.7 million people in a critical situation, and in some areas there is already full-blown famine, killing thousands every single day. Those most in need are children: the UN has reported that more than 30% are acutely malnourished. In certain regions, such as Bakool and Lower Shabelle, malnutrition is exceeding 50% and Unicef reports that children are dying at a rate of about one every six minutes.
The increasingly unpredictable nature of the security situation makes it difficult for the UN and most NGOs to deliver aid. For many Somalis, the choice to stay or walk across the dangerous and dusty land in search of food and water presents equally risky alternatives. For those who stay, there is no guarantee food will arrive. For those who go, there is no guarantee they will survive the journey.
This is the choice that Halima Omar and thousands of Somali women have to face. Halima, whose family was well off with 100 cattle four years ago, was forced to become one of many thousands of drought-displaced people migrating to urban centres in southern Somalia in search of help after three years of droughts killed all of her cattle. She watched four of her children starve to death and wonders how long the remaining two will survive.[view whole blog post ]