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In Brief 22

Hunger in the Horn of Africa

Currently, at least 12.4 million people are threatened by an acute food crisis in the Horn of Africa. In almost all regions of southern Somalia, more than 38 percent of the population is undernourished. Read more! (2011)

According to the United Nations’ World Food Programme, in that area alone 5,000 to 10,000 people could die of hunger during the month of August. Over the next few weeks, this number could increase to several hundred thousand. Approximately a quarter of the Somali population has migrated within the country – mostly to the capital of Mogadishu – or to one of the hopelessly overcrowded refugee camps in Ethiopia or Kenya. At the same time, the percentage of undernourished people is also increasing in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. In parts of Kenya, every fifth child is now undernourished, while in Ethiopia – which ever since the terrible famine of the 1980s has tried to shed its image as a hunger-plagued land country – 4.8 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance. How did this situation arise? Did the existing early-warning systems fail? Who is responsible for this catastrophe? And what can be done about it? In the following paragraphs, we attempt to answer these questions.

In Brief 22
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