Saving East Africa: A Looming Catastrophe in Somalia
The Horn of Africa. Located in East Africa, a place where half of the households in a country of over 15 million people rely on remittances for survival. With the coronavirus pandemic, relatives from abroad are almost as helpless as their dependents. Many of them have lost their jobs following stay at home orders. Social distancing restrictions have disrupted the food distribution chain in the country, and at a time when the local communities should have been a beckon of hope for these countries, half a million people have been displaced, some killed by a flood that hit 29 districts in the country. Massive swarms of desert locust lay an ambush in their unfortunate breeding ground, Somali. There, hoppers will likely go on a rampage during the main raining season, putting every green plant at risk.
(Adapted from Business Insider)
Thousands of displaced people are at multiple risks of health social and economic challenges in East Africa. “I have decided not to plant anything at all. For me, that is a better option than losing all my labour to terrible locusts” – one farmer says. Floods in the region have risen across the hills. Now the haven, where hundreds of families ran to for safety, has to be deserted for safer terrains. There are health hazards that come with this level of water, and residents of these communities are aware of it. With most of these people suffering from moderate to severe food insecurity by the FIES definition, there is more to worry about than their health at this time. That may not be true, but in such situations, people hardly think about anything else than what to eat.
(Adapted from the New York Times)
Humanitarian efforts from the United Nations and allied organizations have been the only source of light in the situation in Somalia. Workers are mostly unable to visit these locations owing to the current pandemic, and most of what is done now is remote work. These humanitarians drawn by the noble feeling of humanity are doing all that is within their power to ensure that millions of lives in East Africa can recover from the multiple hard blows they have received in the face for no known fault of theirs. Life happens, they say, but much more need to be done to salvage the situation and prevent things from getting to a point at which all we can all do is sit back and watch innocent lives perish in the most terrible conditions.
Hunger Reduction International is at the heart of this crisis.
We are committed to doing our best possible to help Somali people during these hard times. We believe that everyone should have access to sufficient and nutritious meals irrespective of the situation or condition. These are more frustrating times for these people than words may be able to capture. But we do believe in hope, and we are sure we can weather this storm and restore hope to Somalians. We are increasing efforts to bring hope to these people. We want to give them a reason to smile at the dawn of another day. If you have a roof over your head and something to eat, you can share with the millions of people wallowing in hunger today. Be the hope of millions of lives in the Horn of Africa today by donating to this noble cause. Your dollar will surely get straight to these people, and together we can save East Africa.
Dr. Faisal Abdi
Executive Director | Hunger Reduction International