famine

News

Drought in Africa Has Spread to Sahel

By Jeannette | April 3, 2012

Photo: European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

Photo: European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

By: Justin Chan

News of the famine and drought in Africa has not been promising. Since last summer, region after region has fallen victim to the drought that first affected Ethiopia and Somalia, next spread to the Sudan and is now affecting countries in the Sahel region.

According to CNN, like other recent social media campaigns, UNICEF recently took to the internet to promote a crusade it calls #SahelNOW. It has asked users of Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media to share a video that addresses the scarcity of food that affects approximately 1 million children that live in the region. The Sahel is a relatively obscure strip of land located near the Sahara Desert and experiences frequent droughts. Along with countries like Senegal and Chad, it currently faces a number of dire circumstances, including poverty, drought and displacement. At least 10 million people are in danger of dying of starvation. Read More

News

Current Water Scarcity May Lead to Higher Food Insecurity

By Jeannette | March 15, 2012

Photo: Shykh Seraj

Photo: Shykh Seraj

By: Justin Chan

Countries such as Sudan may find it even more difficult to cope with a potential famine after the United Nations released a report detailing the water scarcity farmers currently face.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the report warned that farmers will need at least 19 percent more water by 2050 in order to satisfy the increasing demands for food. Much of the demands are coming from regions that are already dealing with water scarcity, making it incredibly difficult to ensure food security. “In many countries water availability for agriculture is already limited and uncertain, and is set to worsen,” the report said. “Concerns about food insecurity are growing across the globe and more water will be needed.” Read More

News

Swedish 9-Year-Old Milla Martin Raises Money for Famine Victims with Cinnamon Buns

By admin | March 12, 2012

Milla Martin

By: Cyndi Amaya

While many times we see or hear news about atrocities in other countries, most of us can be accused of apathy due to our lack of effort to actually try and help. When news broke out of the famine in the Horn of Africa, many chipped in with donations for the famine victims upon hearing of the millions that would be affected.

Even our own Marcus Samuelsson hosted a brunch in this own home to raise fund for the afflicted which was then brought directly to those suffering by his lovely wife Maya.

Aside from his strong philanthropic leaning, clearly Marcus’ strong ties and origin from Ethiopia would draw his attention and earnest to help. But few times do we see someone with no direct connection pitch in to help remedy a situation (Kony campaign aside).

Thankfully, this was not the case for 9-year-old Milla Martin from Sweden. So moved from news stories and photographs of children, like herself, starving in Africa, Milla launched her own campaign to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia. Through the sales of her cinnamon buns and calling for hundreds of Swedish children to join in the campaign, Milla was able to collect more than 200.000 Kronor (about $35,000) to help the starving children in Africa.

I was able to connect with Milla and her father, Henrik for a quick interview on how she started her bake sale fundraising. Check out Milla’s story in her own words… Read More

News

Sudan’s Food Crisis May Escalate to Famine

By Jeannette | February 27, 2012

Photo: United Nations Photo

Photo: United Nations Photo

By: Justin Chan

Sudan is currently facing rising food costs, but a larger problem is looming.

As the country’s inflation continues to increase, experts have cautioned that Sudan could be on the brink of famine by March. According to AlertNet, the Famine Early Warning System warned that the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states could reach emergency levels next month. Tensions between the government and rebels in those two states have forced approximately 140,000 refugees to flee to South Sudan and Ethiopia. The United Nations similarly warned that the number could reach at least 500,000 in the next few months.

“(This is) a looming catastrophe that will make Syria, in terms of total casualties, look like a gang war in the park,” said Sudan analyst Eric Reeves. “There’s no food getting in. There’s no food being produced. All the food reserves were consumed by mid-summer. They are eating grass. They are eating inedible berries.”

Humanitarian organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to provide aid to such war-torn areas. Read More

News

Challenges in Sudan Worsen Food Crisis

By admin | January 12, 2012

Photo: United Nations Photo

Photo: United Nations Photo

By: Saira Malhotra

The Voice of America reported this week on the crisis taking place between Southern Sudan and Sudan. Since Southern Sudan declared independence, the fighting has not ceased. However, in addition to the  fighting between Sudan and Southern Sudan, there has also been inter-tribal fighting in the Southern state of Jonglei.

Oxfam is concerned that the fighting could result in a food shortage due to the precarious situation at the border that has made it difficult for agriculture and aid to get to the area. Sudan’s Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states are at great risk as Northern Governments engage in battle with rebel groups of the South. Read More

News

Update on East Africa: Drought May Spread to Rest of the World

By admin | December 20, 2011

Photo: Muzaffar Bukhari

Photo: Muzaffar Bukhari

By: Michele Wolfson

While many of us are in full holiday mode with mad-dash shopping and flamboyant partying, people who live in the Horn of Africa are lucky if they can even get a drink of water. Scientists are worried that the drought that is taking place in Africa could be the grim future across the globe.

The Horn of Africa has been enduring the worst drought in 60 years. Crop failures have left up to 10 million at risk of famine. The social order in Somalia has been outright chaotic with thousands of refugees streaming into Kenya and refusing to return. The U.N. reduced the number of people at risk of starvation and aid has been sent to hard-hit regions, but this may not be enough to prevent drought not only in this area- but also all over the world. Read More

News

Somali Famine Victims Afraid to Return Home

By admin | November 29, 2011

Photo: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Photos

Photo: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Photos

By: Michele Wolfson

Last Friday, we reported about how the number of famine zones in Somalia was cut in half, as U.S. and U.N. food agencies said aid had reduced death rates due to malnutrition. Since the July 20th famine declaration, these regions are slowly beginning to repair from this devastation.

But many Somali women who fled their villages have no interest in returning to their homeland. Somali women living in the town of Dolo on the Ethiopian border say they won’t return home for fear that they will not be able to provide food for themselves and their children and are afraid of violent Islamist militants invading the region. Read More

News

Update on East Africa and the Famine

By admin | November 21, 2011

Somalia

Photo: IRIN Photos

On Friday, the number of famine zones was cut in half, as U.S. and U.N. food agencies said aid had reduced death rates due to malnutrition. In spite of this good news, 250 million Somalis are facing starvation largely because military battles are preventing food deliveries. The famine in Somalia is reported to be the worst in the world as well as the worst in the Horn of Africa since the region’s 1991-92 famine.

International aid effort has been credited with helping to decrease the food shortage. The U.S. and U.N. food agencies downgraded the famine rating in three areas of Somalia to emergency status. However, there are three other areas, including the refugee communities of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, that still remain in the famine zone. Read More

News

Maya’s Trip to Ethiopia, Part III: Visiting the School

By admin | November 18, 2011

togojalya

By: Maya Haile

Today I discuss the final part of my journey to Ethiopia. After giving out our donations at Togojalya, I decided to visit further deep into Somaliland. We were advised that since it was Muslim land that my arms and legs must be covered in order to be allowed to enter. I had just regular clothing so I had to improvise. I found a quick solution when we found a street tailor that could make me a quick garment. I bought the fabric and within a few moments, I had a handmade dress made from native fabric that I could wear when crossing the Muslim lands. I also had a scarf with me that I could wear, so I felt like I fit in. I was happy to be able to partake of the local culture at least with my clothing; especially being in Ethiopia and Somalia, since both cultures are so similar, so I was super happy to follow their culture.

When we went further into that area, we visited the children’s school. But their school was nothing like we know a school to be, in fact it was technically just two trees. Read More

News

Maya’s Trip to Ethiopia, Part II: Distributing Food and Learning About Their Water Supply

By admin | November 14, 2011

their watering hole

By: Maya Haile

As I described in Part I of my journey, we were welcomed to Togojalya with open arms. Togojalya is comprised of 5 tribes, each comprised of 200 families, totaling 1000 families in that area. We visited one in particular named Muhammad’s Tribe, which is registered with the Ethiopian government and are more willing to accept visitors. In this case, they welcomed us since we went with good intentions to help the families affected by the famine.

At Muhammad’s tribe, we passed out our donated food to each family, about 75 kilos (165 pounds) of food; 25 kilos (55 pounds) of each grain (rice, corn, and lentils). Read More

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