"In total, 4 million people are in crisis in Somalia, with 750,000 people at risk of death in the coming four months in the absence of adequate response," the UN's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) says. Half of those who have already died are children, it says.In Africa drought is only the proximate cause of famine. The ultimate cause is the inability to live in peace and to manage a country effectively. This is certainly the case in Somalia where the al Qaeda affiliated al-Shabab has created a hell on earth for its people.
Kenya-based Somali journalist Fatuma Noor, who traveled through al-Shabab territory last year,says the famine has damaged the group's credibility. "Al-Shabab are losing support. People are saying that the drought in the region was caused by a lack of rains, but the famine was man-made. They are asking - why has it been only in al-Shabab's areas?"
It's not as if there isn't Western aid available to the victims of al Shabab's stupidity, cruelty, and/or indifference.
Noor says many Somalis are blaming al-Shabab for the severity of the crisis because of the ban it imposed on the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and some other Western agencies in 2009. "There have been warnings of a famine since last year, but there was no proper planning to prevent it," says Ms Noor.
In other words, there is aid available to the victims of this famine, but the Islamist leaders won't let it in to the areas where it's most needed. Instead, according to the article, they tell the people that Allah has caused the drought and that they should pray for rain. Meanwhile, until Allah gets around to answering these prayers, hundreds of thousands of Somalis are beginning to look like the little boy in the photo above.