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Escalating Sexual Violence Amid Famine In Horn Of Africa Is 'Going Largely Ignored'

In this Guardian opinion piece, Lisa Shannon, founder of A Thousand Sisters, Run for Congo Women, and co-founder of Sister Somalia, examines how, in the context of famine, sexual violence in the Horn of Africa, and particularly in Somalia, “is being de-prioritized as primarily a psychosocial issue,” and asserts that grassroots international organizations offer a solution “outside the traditional big-aid model.”

“For sexual predators, famine and the resulting vulnerability equals opportunity, even in refugee camps with the heavy presence of international aid organizations and the [U.N.],” she writes, adding, “While hundreds of millions of aid dollars pour through big agencies providing food, water, and health services, Somalia’s dramatically escalating sexual violence is going largely ignored” (10/11).

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