Somali Famine Enters Year Three As Civil War Rages
NEWS 10/06/2039 5:39 PM ET
Somali Famine Enters Year Three As Civil War Rages
by Rekha Gurnani

CC BY 4.0 "SomalilandDrought007" by Oxfam East Africa | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Untitled by alehidalgo | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only. Image changes released under the same license as the original.
Livestock deaths are contributing to a massive, unfolding catastrophe in the Horn of Africa.
Somalia's famine is entering its third year as residents stream out of the war-torn country in search of survival.

The UN estimates that 2.5 million of Somalia's 18 million people have already died from hunger, with another 2 million projected to lose their lives due to malnutrition in the next two years.

Experts agree that a global temperature rise of 2.1° has devastated the Somali economy, which is reliant on agriculture as its largest export. An increase in ground temperatures has severaly limited crop production and has combined with a prolonged drought to cripple domestic production of sugar, corn, and banana staples.

Many Somali livestock farmers have driven their herds beyond Somalia's borders in search of better grazing, but it is estimated that 15 million animals have either perished or been slaughtered early.

The World Health Organization estimates overrall agricultural output has dropped by 22-25% over the past two years.

The civil war, now in its fourth year, has further strained Somalia's ability to cope with the effects of climate change. Terror group al-Salih has made notable gains since defeating an African Union Force at Kismayo last November, claiming most of the richer southern half of the country.

The Somali government still holds the capital Mogadishu, but it is believed al-Salih leader Mukarram al-Baten is planning an assault which will further strain the government's ability to provide for its citizens.

In the larger towns and cities still under government control, basic services like running water and power are intermittent, while hospitals have been stripped of their equipment and supplies by the army.

Smaller towns are beset by piles of bodies untended by the local authorities, and diseases like cholera and malaria are straining the abilities of relief agencies to provide help.

Refugees have poured across the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders and relief agencies believe 2.5 - 3 million people have fled since fighting began in 2035. Another half million are projected in the next few months as people try to escape the Islamist regime.
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