Since England was on fire (perhaps still is, in a certain sense) and the financial markets are in trouble, we may be forgetting that a human disaster is taking place in Eastern Africa, where millions of people are suffering from famines. A photo series in the New York Times makes visual how horrendous the situation is. These pictures are from Somalia, which is for a range of reasons probably the worst situation of all countries in the Horn of Africa where people are suffering from hunger, but that’s little consolation. I recall famines in Ethiopia and neighboring countries ever since my childhood, and it is depressing to see them returning again and again, leaving one to feel rather powerless about what, if anything, one can contribute to providing a sustainable solution to this.
Famines are horrible, and are made worse by war, lawlessness, bad or nonexisting governance, and population growth (there is some accessible background material at the BBC Africa sites). These aspects make it harder to think of solutions to prevent this from happening yet again in the future, but that is not the worry of people currently starving. They need food, water and medical care, and they need it now. But once these horrible pictures get off our screens again, and the people who are now starving are either buried or are trying to rebuild their lives, we should not forget returning to searching for a sustainable solution to global poverty reduction/elimination. Let’s invest more in that discussion here on CT (to be continued).