The Anatomy of a Famine

The challenges facing Somalia are a matter of life and death.

This article is from Issue 53: Sept/Oct 2011

A severe drought would wreak havoc any-where. But in the Horn of Africa—a land now trademarked by high food prices and armed conflict—the dry months have reached a new level of destructive power. First, the crops and livestock began to die off; now, the people are following suit. Th e nations of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti have been affected, but by far, the suffering has been felt most deeply in Somalia. In late July, the United Nations made the call—for the first time in more than 20 years, Somalia was experiencing a famine.

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