The Incredible Shrinking Nation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
My thoughts on the current famine in Somalia.

Submitted: August 09, 2011

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Submitted: August 09, 2011

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Somalia is currently facing what has been called the "worst famine of a generation" due to the worst drought they've had in sixty years.  There are currently a total of five famine zones where nearly half the population (3.2 million people) are in dire need of assistance.  More than 29,000 children under the age of five have died in a span of three months.  Tragically, one mother lost four of her five children in one day due to starvation and lack of affordable medical care.  The death toll of young children is expected to rise as the UN estimates their are 640,000 kids who are acutely malnourished.

Al-Shabab, a terrorist group linked to Al-Qaida is in control of much of southern Somalia and has banned aid from all groups but the International Red Cross. Until recently a US law was preventing aid from reaching the Somali people, a law preventing Americans from giving money or aid to Al-Shabab. Assisting the people of Somalia often means inadvertently giving money that will reach the hands of Al-Shabab leaders. US officials have recently said they will not prosecute aid workers if they are found to be giving to Al-Shabab either unintentionally or through paying them off to help the Somali's, however, charities are still reluctant to get their workers involved in something that could get them arrested since the law has not officially been amended.

Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have taken refuge in Northeastern Kenya at the Dadaab refugee camps and many thousands have gathered in Southeastern Ethiopia. In Ethiopia the refugees are facing an outbreak of measles so UNICEF and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health are working on a vaccination campaign.  Meanwhile, in Kenya, many refugees are being attacked and raped as they cross the boarder.  Kenyan officials don't have the resources to protect the vast number of refugees entering their nation and they are unable to take on anymore.

I wrote this after seeing (warning, this image is very graphic although I encourage you to look at it anyway) this picture, which really made this crises to a reality to me. I was about to say that I was at a loss as for what to do here when a link to this article showed up on twitter. Please take a moment to look over the article and do something to get involved.


© Copyright 2017 Shellie Burg. All rights reserved.

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