What Does the Future Hold for Somalia?
Today Somalia is suffering through the worst food shortage since 1992, when 300,000 Somalis died from starvations. On July 20, 2011, the United Nations declared Somalia in a state of famine and Somalia is recognized as the most serious food insecurity in the world with an estimated 3.7 million people already being affected by the famine. Reports from UNICEF indicate one in five children are acutely malnourished. Executive director of UNICEF UK David Bull claims that “almost 500,000 children are suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition” (“Malnourished Lives Under Threat in Africa”). Sadly these are currently the highest malnutrition rates in the world and they continue to worsen. Two major factors that continue to escalate the crisis are the continuation of the drought, political instability due to Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabab controls over the government. Somalia’s climate is principally desserts with moderate temperatures in the north and hot in the south with high humidity, making it harder to grow crops in that area. The terrain is mostly flat with rising hills in the north. Somalia lies on the eastern coastline of the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Eden known as Horn of Africa and only has one major port located at the capital, Mogadishu. Without rainfall in many areas of the Horn of Africa in two years, the country is suffering through a major drought. The New York Times reports this to be the worst drought in 60 years (“Food Crisis in Somalia” 1). Without water, the farmers have no source of income and the increasing prices of food make it even harder for people to survive. Many families are forced to leave in search of refugee camps in the neighboring countries, leaving what little they have behind, including livestock if they have any left. But the refugee camps can do little to help the starving because they are becoming over crowded, leading to problems of sanitation and spread of diseases. “In the settlements in Kenya about 370,000 people are crammed into a area meant for 90 people” (“Nigeria: The Somalia Food Crisis” 1). Food prices in Somalia have hit a record high. Prices have increased 450%-780% above the long-term trend since 2007. Somalia imports 60% percent of its food requirement such as rice and wheat, adding a bigger burden on the people because the price of freight transportation has increased. Since 2011, there has been an increased number of pirate attacks on the international waterway surrounding Somalia. Causing freight ships to buy escorts in these waterways. In 2011 alone over a 100 pirate attacks have occurred resulting in fourteen ships and over 200 hostages being held hostage for ransom (“Somalia’s Growing Urban Food Security Crisis” 2). While there is no confirmation of a link between the pirate’s attack and Al-Shabab, European nations suspect that the pirate’s attack could be traced to Al-Shabab. The failure of Somalia as a nation can be trace back to Somalia having a weak central government. Somalia hasn’t had an effective government since the President Siad Barre was overthrown in Somali Civil War of 1991. “Over the past few years, Somalia’s neighbors have tried to form an interim government bringing together various political and military groups, but the effort has failed to end the fighting,” reports Ugandan journalist Wairagala Wakabi (“Fighting and Drought” 2). Due to the failure of the government and the never ending fighting, the country was once again ranked number one on the Failed States Index, provided by the Fund for Peace and published by the journal Foreign Policy. Somalia was characterized as the poorest and most violent country in the world. According to the article, “For four years in a row, Somalia has held the No. 1 spot, indicating the depth of the crisis in the international community's longest-running failure” (“The 2011 Index” 1). Without any government rule, the Islamic terrorist group...
Bibliography: Web. 30 Mar. 2012. http://web.ebscohost.com.nuncio.cofc.edu/ehost/detail
Paarlberg, Robert. “Famine in Somalia: What Can the World Do About It?” The Atlantic, Aug. 2012. Web. 14 March 2012
“The 2011 Index.” Foreign Policy. Issue 187, Page 48 July/Aug. 2011. Web. 16 March 2012
Wairagala, Wakabi. “Fighting and Drought Worsen Somalia’s Humanitarian Crisis” The Lancet, Volume 374, Issue 9695, Pages 1051-1052, 26 Sept. 2009. Web. 16 March 2012. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article.html
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