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Horn of Africa 2011 A 21 st century Famine Presentation to the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Interchurch centre By Nigussu Legesse World Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Horn of Africa 2011 A 21 st century Famine Presentation to the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Interchurch centre By Nigussu Legesse World Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Horn of Africa 2011 A 21 st century Famine Presentation to the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Interchurch centre By Nigussu Legesse World Council of Churches Elgin 18 October 2011

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3 What is a Famine ? FAO 2008 definition 20% of the population have less than 2,100 Kcal per day More than 30% of children are acutely malnourished More than 2 deaths per 10,000 per day Access to less than 4 litres of water per day

4 Somalia key facts Somalis live in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya. The 2 most Northern states (Puntland and Somaliland) are semi- autonomous. Population –about 10 million 6 major clans (Darod (Puntland),Hawiye (Mogadishu), Isaaq (Somaliland), Dir-Mirifle), Rahaweyn, Minority clans Religion : 99.8% Sunni Muslims A common language, Somali –written in Roman script since 1972 Size -637,657 sq.km. 2 major rivers (Juba and Shabelle) % of land available for arable farming (between the rivers). The majority of Somalis are pastoralists Rainfall : mm/year Large % of the population are pastoralists Widespread use of the addictive stimulant, q’at, especially among men 3 years running, the world’s “most failed state”

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6 Pastoralism as a way of life. A lifestyle based on free-range rearing of livestock. Suited for “marginalised” land with low rainfall. Mobile (but not aimless wandering), particularly between Rainy Season and Dry Season pastures. Highly dependent on pasture and water availability, and this is dependent on a complicated network of inter-clan relations. People divided into “clans”, under the authority of “clan elders” (non- centralised authority). Animals are “assets”; big animals (cattle and camels) seen as the “Savings Account”, and small animals (goats and sheep) seen as the “Current Account” Animals are exchanged for grain Pastoralism is under threat from : Dry season grazing land used for investment/arable farming. Policy direction in favour of “settlement” & “change of lifestyle”. Increase in lethal weapons, commercialisation of rustling,escalation of conflicts over land and water..

7 Somalia – a quick recent history Italy leases Southern Somalia from Zanzibar Independence of Somalia from Britain Muhammed Siyad Barre overthrows the civilian government Severe hunger War with Ethiopia over Ogaden (Somali area in SE Ethiopia) Inter-clan fighting Barre overthrown. Mohamed Farah Aydid becomes President. Somaliland declares unilateral independence American led Operation “Restore Hope” to prevent fighting between Northern Islamists and other fighters Djibouti Conference. 245 member Transitional National Assembly formed Eldoret Conference. 275 member Transitional National Government formed Union of Islamic Courts, led by Sheik Sharif Ahmed defeat warlords and take over most of South & Central Somalia. Ethiopian troops oust UIC.One of UIC youth wings form Al-Shabaab.Heavy fighting Internally displaced number one million. AMISOM start peacekeeping Last Ethiopian troops withdraw. Transitional National Government and UIC form a power sharing deal, with 550 member Parliament, and Sheik Sharif as President. Al-Shabaab and Hizbula Islam try to overthrow new Government. 170,000 people displaced from Mogadishu. Jan WFP forced to withdraw from Al-Shabaab held areas. Oct.- Dec Driest Rainy Season on record. July UN declares famine in 2 areas of Somalia (at present famine declared in 6 areas)

8 CONFLICT + DISPLACEMENT + DROUGHT +LOSS OF ASSETS + HIGH GRAIN PRICES + LOW LIVESTOCK VALUE = FAMINE

9 Situation as of 5 th September million people in Somalia in crisis (around 40%) 3.3 million need immediate life saving assistance 750,000 people famine affected 226 Internally Displaced concentrations in and around Mogadishu 75% of people in crisis are located in South Somalia where access due to security is challenging. WFP has partial access to Central Somalia & Mogadishu. Cases of cholera and measles are on the rise. UNICEF/Somalia Red Crescent allowed access to all areas to assist malnourished children. In Southern Somalia, malnutrition rates of fives and under are as high as 58% (15% is emergency,30% is famine). Number of malnourished children is 450,000, with 42% or one third of all children have severe acute malnutrition (a rise from 390,000 on 3 rd August) Death rate is as high as 15 deaths per 10,000 per day (famine is 2/day/10,000) At least 20% of the population receive less than 2,100 calories/day. Grain prices have increased by 100 – 250% from July 2010 to July 2011.

10 What needs to be done ? (Some examples –personal views) Immediate emergency needs met, within and outside Somalia, (emergency will continue until pasture has regenerated (end of the year) Urgent solution to restore peace to Somalia (otherwise people can not return home). A civilian government needs to be in place which embraces all clan interests. Development of a civil service. Many livestock assets have been depleted, so even if pasture and water resources are good, people do not have enough animals to live from. People will need help with restocking. Disarmament and rehabilitation of youths. Youth employment measures. Investment in rapid development (health, education, livestock, etc. etc.). Mobilisation of the Somali Diaspora. PR work among the International Community that Somalia is not a “basket case” or a “terrorist nest”. Somaliland is a positive example. Sound Islamic teaching.

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