The horn of Africa is back in news. Somalia’s human tragedy tale has taken a new turn as millions sit on the brink of malnutrition.
The country is deep in the throes of hunger, and poverty has taken a toll in all walks of socio-economic life. To add further misery is its unending political strife that has denied the east African country of its future. The recent report of the UNHCR that stipulates that a quarter of Somalis are either displaced within the country or living outside as refugees is quite disturbing.
This is so because of the worst drought in 60 years, which has literally compounded the violence scale in the country and beyond. The mass exodus that is visible on its borders with Ethiopia and deep into the Middle East across the Suez and Europe is a strategic issue of a dying nation. Something serious is in need of being done, as the human catastrophe cannot be addressed by piecemeal measures.
The world body’s concern is not in isolation.
It has been supplemented by warnings from the UK aid agencies Oxfam, Save the Children, and the Red Cross, calling for immediate food supplies and other accessories to over 12 million people in the continent.
However, what the aid agencies are asking for instantly is not a big deal. It is merely a figure of $150 million. It goes without saying many times of that figure is just wasted at the hands of imprecise bombings and sorties that the obsessive West and NATO fly across the continent, and the waywardness at work over Libya is an amazing example.
The UNHCR says that more than 50 per cent of Somali children arriving in Ethiopia and Kenya are seriously malnourished, and are in need of state-of-the-art relief measures. Food items, potable water, shelter and medicines are inevitable. This call comes as a test case for the developed world, to pour in their resources to save and subsequently rehabilitate a crippled generation.
Somalia has to gear up to fight a war within. And that is a struggle against its socio-economic and political odds. From piracy to poverty there is lot that is disturbing and Mogadishu cannot just ignore it anymore. The flight of around 200,000 Somalis in a span of 100 days indicates the worst is yet to come.