According to a UN report released today, the Somali famine from 2011-2012 took a heavy toll: nearly 260,000 people, half of which were children aged 5 and under. It’s the most troubling report since the Somali famine dating from 1992 that killed some 220,000 people.
Apart from citing death numbers, the UN officials claimed that early action should have been taken in preventive measures before famine was declared in 2011. UN definition of 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.
So, basically it was about counting deaths. International organizations locally based refused to comment on the report some days ago. Somali political ban of international aid in affected areas also led to the catastrophic numbers. Hence, organizations such as Oxfam labeled the Somali state as a political failure. Apart from it, the international community is hosting yet another conference in Britain next week focused on Somalia.
It seems international conferences are easier to organize than early response aid delivery with relevant donor accountability mechanisms. I am just quoting from an article posted in The Independent talking about the inefficiency of aid delivery and about Western states donors preaching democracy and rule of law to developing states:
We dictate to developing countries on democracy as our own electorates grow increasingly disenchanted, we lecture on corruption while presiding over tax havens and our bankers stash stolen loot, and we tell them how to run tax systems when we seem incapable of forcing rich individuals and companies to cough up their fair shares. And just imagine how we would feel if scores of rich young Africans came here and told us how to run our schools and hospitals? Not that most could get in, of course, given our hostile visa systems.