Almost 260,000 people, half of them young children, died of hunger during the last famine in Somalia, according to a UN report, with the world body admitting it should have done more to prevent the tragedy. Senait Gebregziabher, director of the aid group Oxfam in Somalia, said “The world was too slow to respond to stark warnings of drought” and that “these deaths could and should have been prevented.”
SO WHY DID IT HAPPEN?
First we have racism, if this was a western country it would never have been let happen.
Then we have power politics. The US has been punishing Somalia for decades, ever since an incident when a US helicopter was shot down in 1993. When Islamists eventually took over part of the country they were targeted as pro Al Qaeda, then a still continuing war was set up and paid for to oust them. Then they were blamed for the famine, which was trumpeted in the western media as due to an ”Al-Qaeda ban on foreign aid” and ”refusing to let US aid agencies assist”. Amazing hypocrisy when the US had blocked aid for nearly 20 years!
“The world was too slow to respond to stark warnings of drought, exacerbated by conflict in Somalia and people paid with their lives.” is the latest line. This is a gross over simplification, how easy to blame ‘the world’ and excuse the capitalist bankers and financiers, the IMF and the World Bank, controlled by the US, who have bled the 3rd world dry with a 60 year long debt trap. If they cared they could easily find the real people with names and addresses and offshore billions who should pay now for the manslaughter of these 258,000 people. No no, let’s blame ‘the world’, have a pow wow with Cameron in posh London hotels and wring our hands for the photo opportunity.
Then there is climate change, there’s ample evidence that the endless droughts are caused by the effects of global warming on the Indian Ocean. The carbon footprint of Somalis, of course, is approximately zero.
Then there is the media, while hundreds of thousands were dying of hunger the western media focussed only on the threat from Somali pirates to oil tankers and millionaire yachts passing by.
Of course it’s not just Somalia, since the latest financial crisis western ”aid” to debt strapped countries has been decimated, even from the miniscule levels existing, while blackmail and pillaaging of raw materials has shot up.. Now the idea is to make Somalia safe from islamist ideas, wring our hands and collect money from the public and get USA and British hands on their oil wealth.
So why did it happen? For many more reasons as well. “Famines are not natural phenomena, they are catastrophic political failures,” Oxfam’s Somalia director Senait Gebregziabher said in a statement.
The toll is much higher than was feared at the time of the 2010-2012 food crisis in the troubled Horn of Africa country and also exceeds the 220,000 who starved to death in the 1992 famine.
“The report confirms we should have done more before the famine was declared,” said Philippe Lazzarini, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
“Warnings that began as far back as the drought in 2010 did not trigger sufficient early action,” he said in a statement.
Half of those who died were children under five, according to the joint report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network.
“Famine and severe food insecurity in Somalia claimed the lives of about 258,000 people between October 2010 and April 2012, including 133,000 children under five,” said the report, the first scientific estimate of how many died.
Deaths “could and should have been prevented”
Somalia was the hardest hit by extreme drought in 2011 that affected over 13 million people across the Horn of Africa.
“An estimated 4.6 percent of the total population and 10 percent of children under five died in southern and central Somalia,” the report said, saying the deaths were on top of 290,000 “baseline” deaths during the period, and double the average for sub-Saharan Africa.
The aid agency Oxfam said the deaths “could and should have been prevented.”
Famine was first declared in July 2011 in Somalia’s Southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions, but later spread to other areas, including Middle Shabelle, Afgoye and inside camps for displaced people in war-ravaged Mogadishu.
In Lower Shabelle 18 percent of children under five died, the report said.
Somalia one of most dangerous places for aid workers
FAO senior economist Mark Smulders said that lessons should be “drawn from this experience” now that the report provided a “picture of the true enormity of this human tragedy.”
During the famine, it was feared that tens of thousands had died, whereas the report now shows more people died than in Somalia’s 1992 famine, when an estimated 220,000 people died over a year.
However, the report noted the 1992 famine is “considered more severe because a larger percentage of the population died.”
Famine implies that at least a fifth of households face extreme food shortages, with acute malnutrition in over 30 percent of people, and two deaths per 10,000 people every day, according to the UN definition.
Somalia, ravaged by civil war , is one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers, who are westerners and one of the regions that needs aid most.
Security has slowly improved in recent months, with Islamist fighters linked by the US to Al-Qaeda on the back foot despite launching a bombing campaign.
At the time, most of the famine-hit areas were under their control, and the crisis was exacerbated by their draconian ban on most foreign aid agencies.
Over a million Somalis are refugees in surrounding nations, another million displaced inside the country, and around 2.7 million people needing life-saving assistance, according to the UN.
Next Tuesday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and British Prime Minister David Cameron will co-host a conference in London to discuss how the international community can support Somalia’s progress.
More than 50 countries and organisations are due to take part.
British international development secretary Justine Greening said the report was a “sobering reminder that Somalia’s famine was one of the worst disasters of recent times,” adding it would give impetus to efforts at the conference to support the rebuilding of the country.
Mientras los medios nos contaban historias de Piratas… unas 258.000 personas murieron de hambre en la sequía somalí de 2011 y 2012
por Kaos. Derechos Humanos
Unas 258.000 personas murieron a causa de la hambruna que sufrió Somalia entre octubre de 2010 y septiembre de 2012, entre ellos aproximadamente 133.000 niños menores de cinco años, apunta un estudio elaborado por varias agencias de la ONU y por la estadounidense USAID publicado hoy.
Según estas investigaciones, el número de fallecidos representa alrededor de un 4,6 por ciento de la población del sur y centro de Somalia, y un 10 por ciento de los menores de cinco años en esas mismas zonas.
Esta es la primera vez que se da una cifra aproximada del número de fallecidos por la sequía y la consecuente hambruna que se sufrió en seis regiones distintas de Somalia.
“Ahora tenemos una idea de la verdadera enormidad de esta tragedia humana”, asegura en un comunicado publicado hoy por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO) uno de sus economistas sénior, Mark Smulders.
De las seis regiones, las más afectadas fueron las de Bajo Shabelle, Mogadiscio y Bay, indica el estudio en el que participaron, entre otros, la FAO y la Unidad de Análisis de Nutrición y Seguridad Alimentaria de Somalia (FSNAU).
En concreto, en Bajo Shabelle un 18 por ciento de los niños menores de cinco años murieron a causa de la hambruna, una cifra que desciende ligeramente hasta el 17 por ciento en Mogadiscio y hasta un 13 por ciento en Bay.
Por su parte, la organización estadounidense Red de Sistemas de Alerta Temprana de Hambruna (FEWS Net, sus siglas en inglés), que también participó en el estudio, resalta que esta última crisis alimentaria de Somalia es la que peor que ha sufrido el país en 25 años.
Asimismo, FEWS Net garantiza la veracidad de las cifras y la solidez del estudio dada “la cantidad y la calidad de los datos” a los que han tenido acceso para elaborar el mismo.
El Cuerno de África se convirtió en 2011 en el foco de atención del mundo al sufrir una de las peores hambrunas de su historia, que sumió en una crisis humanitaria a más de 13 millones.
Somalia fue el país que más sufrió el efecto de esa crisis, donde cerca de la mitad de su población, unos 3,7 millones de personas, padecieron la tragedia, acentuada por el conflicto y la falta de Gobierno efectivo que vive esa nación desde hace más de veinte años.
Y, por supuesto, mientras todo ello ocurría, nuestros medios nos distraían con historias de Piratas malísimos que atacaban los intereses de nuestros estados en esas aguas internacionales, y a los que había que combatir de cualquier manera posible, mandando todo tipo de tropas y refuerzos militares a la zona, para evitar los secuestros y todo eso que nos presentaban como otra de las múltiples caras del “terrorismo internacional”.
- U.N. Says Somalia Famine Killed Nearly 260,000 (ipsnews.net)
- Somali aid blockade: Killing kids to revenge 9:11 ?!
- Special Force terrorists do 70 attacks a day!
- 350,000 Somali refugees in Dadaab
- Serial of The Free Ch 44. The Ultimatum
- Somalia famine in 2010-12 ‘worst in past 25 years’ (guardian.co.uk)