MADRE Articles

East Africa's Unnatural Disaster

Posted on: Friday, September 2, 2011

Keywords: Africa, Emergency Relief, Kenya, Climate Change

This famine is more than just a “natural” disaster. Its roots are man-made.

Climate change, generated by carbon emissions from industrialized countries, has meant years of drought for millions of people. This crisis has reached a tipping point in the Horn of Africa.

Meanwhile, political unrest and conflict in Somalia has triggered massive displacement and food insecurity. These factors have also often cut vulnerable people off from the humanitarian aid they need. These are all combining to produce a crisis of monumental proportions.

For more information on the background of this famine, visit the resources below:

"Horn of Africa Food Crisis Remains Dire as Famine Spreads in Somalia," UN News Center (September 5, 2011)

"Despite ongoing response to the humanitarian crisis, projections indicate that famine will become widespread throughout southern Somalia by the end of this year."

"UN to Announce Somalia Famine Spreading," Voice of America News (September 2, 2011)

"A U.N. official told VOA the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia will announce that 4 million people - more than 50 percent of the population - are now in crisis. The famine is expected to spread further in coming months."

"African Drought Victims Create World's Largest Refugee Camp," The New York Times (August 22, 2011)

"From Mogadishu to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya -- now the world's largest -- it is clear that relief efforts are working, but more is needed."

"Scientists Link Famine in Somalia to Global Warming," The Huffington Post (August 19, 2011)

"As bad as these droughts have been, [Chris] Funk said droughts in the region are only going to get more frequent and more intense. As the time between them decreases, Funk said, so will the ability of the population to recover, creating what essentially amount to an accelerating cycle of drought and starvation."


"Ending the famine in Somalia," Al Jazeera (August 18, 2011)

"Somalia: 'Disaster Fatigue' must not dull compassion for starving children," United Nations News (August 19, 2011)

"High food prices exacerbate crisis in drought-affected Horn of Africa," United Nations News (August 10, 2011)

"29,000 Children Under 5 Dead In Famine: U.S. Official," The Huffington Post (August 4, 2011)

"Women's Exclusion Worsens Somali Crises," Foreign Policy in Focus (August 4, 2011)

"Why Africa's Drought Is So Catastrophic," The Atlantic (July 27, 2011) 

"Horn of Africa Aid Must Also Build Long-Term Resilience," IRIN News (July 27, 2011)

"Somalia Famine: Politics and Global Warming Causing Disasters", Institute for Public Accuracy (July 21, 2011)

"A world in hunger: east Africa and beyond," Open Democracy (July 21, 2011)

"Africa Famine: World's Richest Countries Guilty of 'Wilful Neglect'," The Telegraph/UK (July 20, 2011)

"EASTERN AFRICA: Half a million children ‘at risk’," IRIN News (July 18, 2011)

"11 Million Hungry from East Africa's Drought, Worst in 60 Years," GlobalPost (July 17, 2011)

"Horn of Africa Drought: Why is Somalia worst affected?", BBC News (July 14, 2011)

"Horn of Africa: From one drought to another,"  The Guardian (July 7, 2011)

"Drought in East Africa the Result of Climate Change and Conflict," The Guardian (July 4, 2011)


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