In 2011, after Somalia faced three failed rainy seasons, a famine ravaged the eastern African country and killed a quarter of a million people. Half of them were children. It was a preventable tragedy, and the international community launched a “never again” campaign to end extreme hunger.
Yet, despite that pledge, Somalia today is experiencing a hunger crisis that’s shaping up to be even more dire: The country has now seen droughts in five consecutive rainy seasons — the longest and most severe drought in its recorded history — and many experts are warning that come summer time, this desperate situation could devolve into a famine worse than the last.
Now here is the cold hard truth: Famines in the modern world are effectively man-made. While natural disasters like droughts can certainly trigger a food shortage, it’s bad governance, political conflicts, and a lack of financial will on the part of the international community that end up raising the level of starvation and malnutrition to the point of so many deaths. And that’s what’s ultimately behind the current crisis in Somalia.
By The Editorial Board,