Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Famine and Food Shortages Remain at Crisis Levels in Somalia

Refugees International issued an excellent summary on 13 December 2011 of the ongoing food shortage and famine problem in the Horn of Africa. The main focus of the report is Somalia. 

It notes that the situation grows more complicated with the onset of rains, which encourage the spread of disease in displacement camps, and fighting in southern Somalia. The most vulnerable populations are new Somali refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia, long-term refugees at Dadaab in Kenya, internally displaced Somalis in Mogadishu, and civilian populations throughout south and central Somalia. 

The refugee population at Dabaab has reached 463,000, the refugees camps inside Ethiopia have 138,000 persons, IDPs in Mogadishu number at least 370,000, and the largest number of affected Somalis are in Al-Shabaab controlled territory in south and central Somalia where aid continues to be looted by Al-Shabaab  and other armed actors on its way to distribution points.

Read the brief report here

1 comment:

  1. As the underdeveloped masses emerge, food production must increase 70 percent by 2050. Counterproductive policies designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases caused a doubling of cereal prices across the board that impacted all the products dependent on grains—meat, eggs, bread, milk, pasta—beef cattle, hogs, sheep, etc.—including pet food. Before the shortages even occurred, just the anticipation caused a run on the inventories of cereal reserves and exacerbated the problem. Suppliers to institutional “fast-food” servers imposed rationing to stretch limited reserves. In the developed countries, restaurants went out of business when high gasoline prices, the sub-prime mortgage debacle, and huge food price increases added insult to injury and reduced customers’ ability to afford “eating out.” The stupid explanation that the corn used for ethanol is only feed corn, does not change the cost effect on meats, milk, and poultry.

    In the underdeveloped world where large portions of the population (often more than half) live at or below the international $2 per day per capita poverty level and the $1 per day starvation level, the huge food price increases and resulting shortages led to a famine in Africa and parts of Asia, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Food riots caused hundreds of deaths as police attempted to protect stores against rampant looting. Numerous countries have had food riots that resulted in the fall of long-term governments. This is a trend that can only get worse. Food riots empower people to seek redress for all their ills. Some innovative solutions to the food crisis, such as fish farms in ocean pens near shallow coastlines, were discovered to have a negative impact on other natural cohabitants due to the concentrations of fish food waste and fish feces. It appears that aquaculture (fish farming) may have to be confined to tanks or ponds on land.

    If fishermen were just required to bring back whole the seventy million sharks harvested annually—instead of only the fins used to make shark fin soup for the Orient—there would be abundant food (rich in protein) to feed many of the world’s poor. We must start to husband our ocean food resources by means of international treaties that impose sustainable limits on quantities that may be harvested. An international body (FAO?) should have the authority to legally enforce the agreements of the regional fisheries management organizations (RMFOs) and police its moratoriums. The navies of the world should have the right to board, inspect and escort violators to any port to enforce regulations.

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