Somalia: Children Continue to Suffer from Hunger as Islamists Hinder Food Aid
Revelation 6:8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Foreign Policy Association – “Children in Somalia continue to suffer needlessly from hunger as politics hinder the much needed distribution of food aid. In Somalia, it is women and children who bear the brunt of the famine. Children are susceptible to malnutrition that decreases their ability to fight off disease, while women are unable to access the services they need and carry the responsibility of caring for their families. Malnutrition is the largest contributor to global child mortality and is the cause of one-third of child deaths, which amounts to some 15 million children dying of hunger each year. According to UNICEF, 21,000 children die everyday.
In October last year, I published the piece Are Politics to Blame for the Deaths of 30,000 Children in Somalia? The answer to the question remains the same. The famine was not only caused by drought and poor harvest, but was fueled by a lack of political will. In July, the UN declared a famine in two regions of Southern Somalia; however, Somalia continues to find itself gripped tightly by starvation in many regions. Many believe the famine is largely a political creation, due to factions that have actively prevented food and other aid from reaching drought victims. However, the political commitment to end the problem remains difficult. The largest areas of malnutrition and famine are centered in Southern Somalia, where a failing government sits idly by as al-Shabaab, a terrorist group with ties to al-Qa‘ida, controls parts of the country.
In November 2011, al-Shabaab banned 16 aid organizations distributing food, including several UN agencies, from their controlled areas, accusing them of ‘illicit activities and misconduct.’ This political curve ball only served to ensure that not only would the famine continue and the death toll mount, but al-Shabaab would retain their tight reign over the region.
Somalia continues to remain in a major food crisis, classified as famine in some regions, and once again politics are impacting the distribution of food aid. Al-Shabaab has now banned aid distributions by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who was one of the last aid agencies operating in areas under al-Shabab’s control and the only agency bringing in food to those famine-hit areas on a large scale. In a statement issued by al-Shabaab, they accused ICRC of ‘repeated distribution of expired food and false accusations’ and thus stated that its Office for Supervising the Affairs of Foreign Agencies (OSAFA) ‘has decided to terminate the contract of ICRC permanently.’ The ICRC’s operations were formally suspended in al-Shabaab controlled areas on 12 January. This major political move has now placed innocent Somalians in the center of what continues to look like a loosing battle; with each gain in the fight against hunger by the international community, al-Shabaab seeks to take control back.” Read more.
Flashback: Somalia: Islamist Group Bans Samosas After Deciding They’re Too ‘Christian’ Because … – “Apparently triangles are not halal in Somalia. These exceptionally deep-thinking Islamists would rather see children starve to death than see them eat a three-sided snack food. It might remind somebody of the Trinity. Finally, I understand my addiction to Doritos. And thank goodness it never snows in Somalia, otherwise Jack Handey bin Laden would have to issue a fatwa against Jack Frost bin Chillin, and we’d never enjoy a White Christmas ever again …” Read more.