UN: Somalia on the Brink of Famine

    UN: Somalia on the Brink of Famine
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: Getty Images [via The Guardian]


    • On Mon., the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that the south-central region of Somalia will likely fall into famine between Oct. and Dec. of this year. [1]
    • Martin Griffiths, the OCHA's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination, declared that "famine is at the door," as Somalia faces a deadly and historic drought that has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. [2]
    • The situation has been exacerbated by rampant inflation and resource scarcity linked to the war in Ukraine - the African nation sourced 90% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine before the conflict started. [2]
    • Somalia has limited means to manage the crisis, as it's severely conflict-ridden, and one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Grifitths has called upon all parties to allow humanitarian organizations safe access to hard to reach locations, particularly those controlled by Islamic insurgence group al-Shabaab, to assess the extent of need. [1]
    • Griffiths also compared this tragedy to the 2010-11 Somali famine that killed more than 260K people, half of them children. More than 100K Somalis had already died as a result of that famine before the situation was formally confirmed through official hunger and malnutrition statistics. [3]
    • A formal famine declaration is only made once data shows more than a fifth of households experience an extreme lack of food, more than 30% of children are malnourished, and more than two in 10K people are dying each day. [2]
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    Establishment-critical narrative

    Aid workers are terrified of either being kidnapped or killed in the conflict, or prosecuted for aiding and abetting terrorism if they cooperate with al-Shabaab in order to operate in areas they control - something that will cost innocent Somali lives. It's time that the world starts talking to al-Shabab and makes clear that humanitarian and charity workers won't be prosecuted for working with the militants who have widespread grassroots support in parts of Somalia.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Al-Shabbab are a ruthless terrorist organisation dedicated to destroying Somalia, its people, and religion. It's time to declare an "all-out war" against them which will be sustained until every single region they control is liberated. Somalia only has one legitimate and internationally recognized government - these authorities cannot rest until al-Shabaab is destroyed.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that at least 10 countries will formally recognize Somaliland as an independent state by the end of Jan., 2055, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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