We knew months ago…
The Guardian: Nigeria’s food crisis: by the time famine is declared, it’s too late
Amy Harrison, technical specialist in gender and conflict at Social Development Direct
“…North-east Nigeria has long suffered from geographical marginalization and chronic underdevelopment, but it was the rise of Boko Haram that brought the region to international attention. … My Nigerian colleagues have seen this famine coming for years. This is the cruel irony — by the time food insecurity starts to acquire the F-word label, it’s too late. … In January, the U.N. issued an appeal for $1.05 billion to reach 6.9 million people in north-east Nigeria, predictably far too late to avert what is eight years in the making. As of May, only $24 million had been donated, and the U.N. response is due to run out of money at any time. The situation is desperately sad and not likely to improve anytime soon. … Perhaps the first step to cutting through the web is to understand and engage a little more. That way, people suffering on the other side of the world will not remain an anonymous other…” (6/12).
New York Times: A Fierce Famine Stalks Africa
Nadifa Mohamed, author
“…Today six million people are at risk of starvation in Somalia, and another fourteen million in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen. It is the gravest emergency since the Second World War, according to the United Nations. … In 2011 international donors were slow to respond and delivered aid after the majority of the … victims of famine had already perished. Today news of death from cholera or thirst even from areas without roads is shared on Somali social media within the day. … The funds needed to prevent famine in Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria are far from being met by the international community, the United Nations’ appeal for Somalia is reportedly under target by 57 percent, and underfunding has already cost lives in all four countries. … As Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, proceeds, people on the verge of starvation are turning their hunger to a spiritual cause. It opens up the question of how the richer Muslim countries will respond to the tragedy threatening their impoverished co-religionists…” (6/12).