Somalia Famine Killed Some 260,000 People. International Community Hosts Another Conference

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.

They called it ethnocentrism, colonialism, postcolonialism and other gibberish alike. Jules Michelet, Tzvetan Todorov and so many others were spot on about it.

About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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4 Responses to Somalia Famine Killed Some 260,000 People. International Community Hosts Another Conference

  1. Excellent information. Tragic.How is it that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and…starve. Shame on all of us.

  2. Beachbums1 says:

    Very tragic, very complicated.

    I lay the blame on the current crisis squarely at the feet of the brutal and greedy regime who stand at the “Golden Gate” of aid, literally taking food out of the mouths of babies who are dying. I recently had an opportunity to hear a doctor (who works for a reputable aid organization) speak and his plea was for everyone related to the government (both in the west and in the African Nations affected) to just STAY OUT OF the hospitals and let the aid workers/medical workers do their thing. Ah, if it could only be…unfortunately, the workers face security/personal safety issues at every turn.

    • Thank you for your comment. It’s also the crisis, but it’s particularly a feeling of getting used to seeing sorrow and not acting right away which is dangerous.

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