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Opinion Pieces Address Drought, Famine In Horn Of Africa

The following opinion pieces address the drought and famine situation in the Horn of Africa:

  • Guardian: “Why can’t we end famine in Somalia?”: “What is needed right now is for the international community to act immediately to save the millions who are starving,” Maryan Qasim, a doctor and an adviser in the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, writes, concluding, “A long-term development strategy to ensure that when the famine finally comes to an end, it really does come to an end, is equally important. To be battling famines in the 21st century is a scandal. Let’s just hope that this time we can once and for all say ‘never again'” (7/28).
  • Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog”: “The Horn of Africa crisis is a warning to the world”: “Unless we confront the challenges of the Horn of Africa at their root causes – the poverty and vulnerability of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist populations – we will face burgeoning violence in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and beyond,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to U.N. secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, writes. He praises the Gulf countries for providing assistance and concludes, “New donors, in short, are stepping forward to help fill the urgent needs of the Horn of Africa. Time is extremely short and the needs are great. Generosity and speed are of the essence” (7/28).
  • Huffington Post: “7 Ways the U.S. can fight drought in Africa”: George Rupp, president of the International Rescue Committee, presents a list of ways the U.S. can provide assistance, including rushing aid to people in need, protecting food aid, fighting disease, removing legal barriers to providing aid in Somalia, helping refugees who have fled Somalia, preventing and responding to violence against women, and not “rob[bing] Peter to pay Paul.” On this last point, Rupp writes that “funding should not be reallocated away from others who are hungry, sick and in need elsewhere in the region. Otherwise we will only replicate this crisis in other locations” (7/28).
  • Washington Post: “Behind Africa’s famine, more than just drought; Famine isn’t inevitable”: Noting how traditional pastoralist practices have been interrupted in some areas of the Sahel by large agricultural farms, William Moseley, professor of geography and African studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., writes, “With energy and food prices likely to remain high for months to come, Africa can no longer count on cheap imported food or afford to shift to energy-intensive crop production strategies. The path to improved food security lies in improving time-tested local approaches, which are attuned to local environmental conditions” (7/28).

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