By: Courtney Harrington
Ever been hungry? Some people tend to take the food they are fortunate to eat every day for granted. Little do they know, there are millions of people around the world, even in theUnited States, that cannot afford to put food on the table for days, maybe even weeks. Unfortunately,Somaliahas plunged into a severe famine all across the country. According to Mark Bowden, an United Nations official, a famine is declared when more than two people per 10,000 die daily from lack of food and when the malnutrition rates among children rise above 30 percent. Latest statistics show that six per 10,000 children at the age of five or younger are dying every day. As of this year,Somaliahas the highest malnutrition rates in the world.
The famine inSomaliais quickly spreading from region to region. The country has suffered from the famine for months now and is still worsening. Millions of civilians are in need of aid and assistance. Also, the horrific drought across part ofAfricahas caused some countries to have the lowest rainfall rates in over half a century. Due to the drought, many crops throughoutSomaliaare dying off.
Several countries around the world are doing what they can to help the country ofSomaliain its time of need. TheUnited Statesalone is giving the country $28 million along with $431 million worth of food and emergency assistance that has been provided toEast Africa. However, a few aid agencies are claiming that theUnited Statestook too long to respond to the tragedy inSomalia. “The crisis has been building for several months, but the response from international donors and regional governments has been mostly slow, inadequate and complacent,” Fran Equiza, the regional director of the British aid agency Oxfam, stated. According toEquiza,Somaliais still in need of over 800 million dollars to help pull the country out of such a disaster.
On top of the famine,Somaliais also having government issues. A group known as al-Shabab has been preventing aid agencies from entering parts of the country. Fortunately, the group got rid of the ban in July and allowed the agencies in. “In Somalia, 20 years without a central government and the relentless terrorism by al-Shabab against its own people has turned an already severe situation into a dire one that is only expected to get worse,” Hillary Clinton claimed.
“Every day of delay in assistance is literally a matter of life or death for children and their families in the famine-affected areas,” Bowden stated. WithSomaliain the hearts of people all around the world,Somaliamust race against the clock to find a solution to rid the country of such a historical famine.