Crisis in the Horn of Africa
On 20 July, the United Nations (UN) declared a state of famine in parts of southern Somalia – highlighting a crisis that has killed tens of thousands of people, and urging the international community to greater action.
(see this table on what makes a famine a “famine”)
UN officials have described the drought as the worst humanitarian crisis in the troubled country in two decades.
The crisis arises from low rainfall (the lowest rainfall rates in half a century) and sharp increases in food prices – meaning that available food has become unaffordable for many people. The protracted conflict in Somalia has aggravated the situation, and has hindered access for relief agencies.
The famine declaration comes months after U.N. and other aid agencies began sounding the alarm about a devastating drought in the Horn of Africa, where an estimated 10 million people need help.
For more information, see:
- How You Can Help.ie – listing the Irish agencies that are working in the region, and providing information on what people in Ireland can do to help the victims.
- Reliefweb.int and Alertnet – providing news updates on the crisis.
- Irish Aid statement on the crisis
- This blog post on the crisis.