Global food security crisis: Somalia on the verge of catastrophic famine

The food security crisis can lead to the loss of millions of lives in Somalia.

Somalia is on the verge of a severe catastrophic famine because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, runway inflation and climate change.

This was said by the CEO of the One Campaign, Gayle E. Smith, a nongovernmental organisation that fights extreme poverty in the world, particularly in the Horn of Africa.

The Ukraine war had the most severe impact on people in poorest countries, with the soaring prices of food and other needed supplies doubling malnutrition rates.

The food security crisis can lead to the loss of millions of lives in Somalia.

Impacts of the global catastrophe

The severe drought in the Horn of Africa, which destroyed crops and killed livestock that millions of people’s lives depend on, also placed the country on the brink of starvation.

READ MORE: Somalia: mired in violence and chaos

Water scarcity has led to below average harvests and has displaced hundreds of Somalian people as they went to seek sustenance elsewhere.

Smith also emphasised on the lack of response globally on the situation that is to befall Somalia.

The resources that we use to respond to everything from the flood in Pakistan to the spike in food prices in West Africa is the same percentage from governments. 

“And the top line of that has not been increased, so we are responding to more and more crises but putting more pressure on a fixed budget,” said Smith.

This video is no longer available.

She said the second biggest reason is that some of the international institutions that are best positioned to respond, such as the World Bank, are not yet agile to produce capital needed to respond to these crises.

This is the third time in 10 years that a devastating famine has threatened Somalia. In 2011 around 250,000 of the country’s people – half who were children – died as a result of rain not falling for consecutive years.

A World Food Programme (WFP) report listed Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen as the highest alerts for hunger hotspots.

There have been urgent calls to the international community to scale up and assist in the response to this looming crisis, which determines the fate of millions of families.

NOW READ: ‘KZN food security is under threat’


Read more on these topics

food security global Somalia

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits