Monday, August 08, 2011

Famine in Africa

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It seems to me that the continent of Africa has been in the receiving end of bad luck throughout history. Draught, famines and never ending conflicts, both international and internal, has plagued African countries for centuries.

The latest in these series of disasters is the ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa, which comprising of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia. The worst hit at the moment is Somalia, but it is also affecting some parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, with the potential to spread even further. The UN estimates 12 million people are in the brink of starvation in Somalia, while tens and thousand have already perished, mostly children. This is considered as the worst famine to hit in 20 years. Severe drought of the past two years and many conflicts in the area has destroyed food production, infrastructure and impeded aid, have been the major factors contributing for this situation.

To make things worse, militant groups are taking the people already suffering hostage by refusing them access to aid. This has been going on for some time, but fortunately, these militants have changed their stance and left the affected areas. This will allow the aid agencies to carry out their relief work. It fails understanding how one group of people can condemn another group of their own people, especially children, to a slow and painful death like starvation. At least a bullet to the head is quick, and merciful. Has humanity become so depraved?

The north-east part of Africa has had more than its share of misery in the past years. Between 1984 -1985, the largest famine to hit Ethiopia killed nearly 1 million people. This is what inspired Bob Geldof’s Band Aid concert, which raised over $100 million.
In 1988 nearly 6 million Ethiopians faced the risk of starvation due to famine.
In 1992 nearly 2 million people faced starvation in Somalia.
In 1994, the civil war in Sudan left 2.5 million Sudanese needing emergency food aids. In the same year, almost 7 million people face food shortage in Ethiopia.
According to the UN, about 22 million people were facing starvation in Sub Saharan Africa in 1996.
In 1997, Kenya declared a state of national disaster after severe drought threatened the livelihoods of nearly 2 million people.
Add to these the various never ending conflicts in the area and you have a lifetime of misery and suffering for the people.
Between 1998 and 2004 3.8 million people died of starvation and disease during the Second Congo War.
In 2003, famine in Sudan’s Darfur region
In 2005 food crisis in Malawi
In 2006 food crisis in the horn of Africa affecting Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya
In 2009 Kenyan food crisis affecting nearly 10 million
In 2010 food crisis in the Sahel region, a belt 1000 km wide spanning across middle of the African continent form the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea

With this amount of suffering going on in the rest of the world, our petty problems that we squabble over seem quite irrelevant, and our greed sickening. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are, but these people deserve our prayers and blessings.

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Angel said...

Add to this a population whose immunity and resilience has been weakened by malaria, HIV and tuberculosis... the sense of urgency should be rising to unprecedented levels...

And yet our petty squabbles continue.

Lady divine said...

What a coincidence. I was actually thinking of this and having a chat about it with a colleague today..

We sometimes think we got it bad, but there's so much worse out there...

Dee said...

so so sad to see the kids suffering :(

Azrael said...

Yeah, it truly is a sad situation :(

Anonymous said...

I am stupid but i have a question:why Aficans are not able to stop having sex in order to decrease their birth rate? They have famine,droughts,genocide,etc yet they love to make kids who are going to die or if they grow up as males they will keep on raping their women.Why should white people pay for their stupidity? Have you ever heard of fistula???This is the stuff they are enriching their women with.Google FISTULA plz.