Specter of famine again haunts Somalia

politics | Oct 10, 2012 | By Martin Barillas

Because of rainfall that falls below the seasonal average in Somalia, the so-called 'crop Gu' has been damaged, resulting in a dramatic increase in food prices. Observers on the ground note that the level of malnutrition in the country has become alarming.

 
According to data from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam), the 2011 drought and famine killed tens of thousands of victims. In addition, another 4 million people, about half of the population, remain dependent on humanitarian aid.
 
Somalia is now threatened by another severe famine. Water supplies and food have reached a critically low level and are likely to worsen in some areas of the country within the next few months. This portends a humanitarian crisis that could continue for another year.
 
Oxfam statistics refer to a study of more than 1,800 families and 240 groups in 40 regions of Somalia, between the months of July and August 2012. About half of the respondents said they regularly skip meals and a fifth has reduced their portions of food to ensure enough food for their children. Some women are forced to walk 18 kilometers a day on foot in search of water. 

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