The Stream

Famine in Somalia: What can be done to stave it off?

On Thursday, September 22 at 19:30 GMT:
The world’s worst famine in a century is looming over parts of Somalia, and time is running out to save people there from starvation, the United Nations (UN) has warned.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing its fifth consecutive season of drought, which is being felt most acutely in Somalia. There, the UN has called for at least $1 billion in aid to help the nearly eight million Somalis at risk of famine-related deaths in the coming months.

The region has faced similar crises in the past, including in 2011, when more than 200,000 people died of starvation. But aid groups say the humanitarian situation has never been this critical.

Following a recent visit to Mogadishu, UNICEF’s deputy regional director Rania Dagash said, “I couldn’t get out of my head the tiny mounds of ground marking children’s graves. I’m from this region and I’ve never seen it so bad.” Over 700 children have already died between January and July 2022 and hundreds of thousands more remain at risk, UNICEF reports.

Many advocates add that international help must go beyond immediate financial relief. As the Horn of Africa becomes warmer and drier because of climate change, its people will need sustainable solutions that break the cycle of dependency. They say this can be done by establishing stronger governance, investing in innovative farming techniques and creating non-agriculture related jobs.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the looming famine in the Horn of Africa with a focus on Somalia, and what challenges aid groups are facing as well as what can be done to help.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Nimo Hassan, @NimoA_Hassan
Director, Somalia NGO Consortium

Hodan Ali, @hodansomali
Director of the Durable Solutions Unit, Mogadishu Municipality

Esther Ngumbi, @EstherNgumbi
Assistant Professor, University of Illinois