By Sofia Rojas, 10th Grade
As of this week Martin Grits, the U.N. humanitarian chief, officially declared Somalia in a state of mass hunger. This problem has been expected for years since more than 7.1 million Somali citizens require urgent food and humanitarian assistance. But, what exactly leads to the country’s poor conditions?
For years, Somalia has been struck with tribulations like war, extreme poverty, and corruption. These ongoing issues have led Somalia to be cataloged as one of the poorest countries in the world. As of today, one out of every five children in the country will face extreme descriptors of malnutrition by October. Even so, according to the Washington Post, “Four failed rainy seasons have plunged the region into its worst drought in more than four decades.” However, a similar difficulty was seen in 2011, when a drought struck Somalia, leaving as many as 260,000 people dead. Regardless, drought is not the only concern causing Somali children to suffer.
Phenomenons like the ongoing food price spike and climate change have continuously affected the African Nation. Somalia has seen more than 3 decades of ongoing conflict. As of today, Somalia produces less than half of the food it did in the early 90s. This food production decay led the country to grow extremely dependent on food imports. Whereas, the food imports have also been continuously influenced because of the war in Ukraine. For example, over 90% of all wheat came from Ukraine and Russia and because of the disagreement, the constant importation has fallen inside the country.
Somalia has been continuously struck with continuous crises. The country is correspondingly suffering from an ongoing desert locust infestation. Desert Locust is known as the world’s most destructive migratory pest. One of these pests can travel up to 90 miles (144.84 kilometers) a day, and eat as much food as 35,000 people. This pest in Somalia has destroyed the remaining crops. Now because of this, Somalia is not only facing food shortages but water is scarce too. 90% of the nation is facing severe water shortages while water sources have broken down to excessive usage. Somalia also counts as one of the biggest displaced populations in the African Peninsula. One million Somali citizens have been supplanted in search of food and water. The most affected regions have been: Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, and Jubaland.
Overall, Somalia has been continuously struck by catastrophes and constant crises. The constant mismanagement has led the country to immensely suffer. Somalia which once had a great economic power today suffers immense catalysts while the international community looks away.
- Tharoor, I. (2022, September 7). Somalia is on the verge of famine while the world looks away. Washington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2022, from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/07/somalia-famine-drought-global-hunger/
- Davies, L. (2022, September 5). Drought likely to push parts of Somalia into famine by end of the year, warns UN. The Guardian. Retrieved September 9, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/sep/05/drought-likely-to-push-parts-of-somalia-into-famine-by-december-warns-un
CARE. (2022, September 9). Somalia Food Insecurity Crisis—Famine in Somalia. Retrieved September 9, 2022, from https://www.care.org/our-work/disaster-response/emergencies/somalia-food-insecurity-crisis/