From Volume 7, Issue 47 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 18, 2008
Africa News Digest

Somalis Are Facing Starvation

Nov. 14 (EIRNS)—Hundreds of thousands of Somalis face life-threatening food shortages owing to the escalating armed conflict and the effects of the severe drought in central and southern areas. In response, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has very limited abilities to work out a long-term solution, is planning to distribute dry-food rations to 435,000 people. The ICRC is also expanding its emergency humanitarian relief work to respond to the deepening crisis in war-ravaged Somalia.

According to Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC's delegation for the country: "Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the fighting and drought. External factors, such as the global food crisis and the skyrocketing prices resulting from it, have made the economic situation even worse. The chronic nature of the crisis had completely exhausted people's coping abilities." According to Mathias Frese, the organization's relief coordinator for Somalia, loss of basic property such as land and cattle, during the endless conflict, is posing an acute threat to civilians' lives, and growing numbers of Somalis have become destitute.

Throughout Africa, rising commodity prices and low agricultural productivity have pushed many nations to the brink of famine. A little relief came to Ghana following India's offer of 15,000 metric tons of rice, free of charge. India has had a long-standing friendly relationship with Ghana. The poorest African, and some Asian, nations, have been hit hard by rising food and fuel prices, which led to the shortage of especially staples such as wheat, rice, and corn.

All rights reserved © 2008 EIRNS