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Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict. March 28, 2017

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Acute Food Insecurity and Conflict in Africa

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies

February 17, 2017

Acute food insecurity and conflict in Africa by Africa Center for Strategic Studies


Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict.
Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict.
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Historic droughts in East and Southern Africa have caused food prices to skyrocket to record levels, doubling the price of staple cereals in some areas. The areas of greatest food insecurity, however, are those affected by conflict. An arc of conflict-affected countries, largely overlapping regions of greatest food insecurity, spans the center of the continent from Somalia to Mali. In addition to disrupting production, conflict undercuts markets that would normally bring food to areas of greatest shortage. In some places, conflict prevents even conducting a full assessment of the level of food insecurity. And because countries in conflict lack the resilience or coping mechanisms of more stable areas, their food crises tend to last longer and have more lasting impact. In short:
Nineteen African countries are facing crisis, emergency, or catastrophic levels of food insecurity
Ten of those countries are experiencing civil conflict
Eight of those ten countries are autocracies
Those eight are also the source of 82 percent of the 18.5 million Africans that are internally displaced or refugees


 

https://twitter.com/AfricaACSS/status/846720205703299074/photo/1

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IRIN: Ethiopia in 2017: New drought: 15.9m people in famine crisis March 19, 2017

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Farmers, traders and consumers across East and Southern Africa are feeling the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that have scorched harvests and ruined livelihoods.

Ethiopia: The strongest El Niño phenomenon on record led to an extreme drought in 2016, with 10.2 million in need of food aid. A new drought means 2017 could be just as dire, throwing an additional 5.7 million people into crisis. Farmers and herders found their resilience tested to the limit last year. They have very limited resources left to cope with the current crisis. More at IRIN: Drought in Africa.

OCHA: Ethiopia: New drought puts recovery and neighbouring countries at risk

 

2016 was a challenging year for Ethiopia. But 2017 could be equally dire, as the country has been hit by a new drought. As 2.4 million farmers and herders cannot sustainably practice their livelihoods and reinvigorate their already drought-stricken farms, the new drought is throwing an additional 5.7 million people into crisis.

At the launch of the Humanitarian Requirements Document, UN Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien called for US$948 million to meet people’s survival and livelihoods needs in 2017.

“We need to act now before it is too late,” he said. “We have no time to lose. Livestock are already dying, pastoralists and farmers are already fleeing their homes in search of water and pasture, and hunger and malnutrition levels will rise soon if assistance does not arrive on time.”


Source: 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document

Back-to-back cycles of poor or non-existent rainfall since 2015, coupled with the strongest El Niño on record, led to Ethiopia’s worst drought in decades. The new drought has hit southern and eastern regions, and pastoralists and farmers are fleeing their homes to find water and pasture.

The new drought extends beyond Ethiopia’s borders—in Kenya and Somalia, it has already pushed 1.3 million people and 5 million people into hunger, respectively. Severe water and pasture shortages in Somalia have resulted in livestock deaths, disrupted livelihoods and caused massive food shortages.

GLOBAL EMERGENCY PLEA FOR THE DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS OF EASTERN AFRICA March 18, 2017

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AN URGENT PLEA!
Hello dear esteemed managerial staffs, Risk-taking and Committed Journalists and Thoughtful and Truthful Reporters of Global Media Outlets!
Today, I kindly call up on and humanely urge you, to search, research and report on the case of drought weakening and dismantling almost all parts of Eastern Africa. Literature and memories have it that, though the intensity and severity might differ, almost all countries in this part of the world is facing some amount of pressure from drastic factors of Climate Change. Particularly, these regions are suffering from A Very Rapid Desertification locally and irreversible Global Warming universally since the last three decades. It is very sad that, we have multitudes of witnesses and plentiful of testimonies also that the deep-rooted Poverty, ever growing and rampant Corruption and other pertinent problems of Good Governance make the issue under a multidimensional media’s spotlight. This is why, this area is literally dubbed ‘a hell on the face of the planet earth’.
Recently, I, personally, observed the case of Borana, Gabra, Garri, Guji, Gedio, Sidama, Western Arsi and Eastern Shawa communities in Central and Southern Ethiopia, Northern Kenya and South-Western Somalia. More or less, people of these areas lived up experiencing droughts in the past. In these vicinity all in pastoral, agro-pastoral and agricultural settings they saw the taste of desert somehow. I also, personally have seen it. Bitterly faced it. Kept living being affected by it. I admit that I have seen peoples’ livelihood shifted, villages abandoned, children drawn out of schools, old men engaged in hard and unsafe work, pregnant women traveling long journeys in search for a can of drinking water and lives perished in vain and lost in the perching wilderness- all because of severe drought. Nevertheless, unlike the drought we are accustomed to know, this year round it is different completely. There is no place unaffected. No loopholes to take refuge for the herds and shepherds.
For instance, in the case of Borana Zone there has been no rain for the two consecutive normal rainy seasons. No fodder and water for animal consumption in any part of this area let it be Liban, Dirre, Malbe, Golbo, Sakhu or Waso. Now as we speak, in Borana, the drought is so much severe than its former status that let alone livestocks, human lives are at stake and at unredeemable risk if we fail to react as soon as we can. FYI, a rumor is being aired that quite a number of people have been died of hunger in Sakhu (Marsabit) county, around Magado in Dirre Woreda, Chari in Elwaye Woreda and some are on their deathbed around remote parts of the province where trucks can not easily travel and distribute the life’s essentials like water and food. The case of Liban areas, that is the worst case scenario though we need more details to cover much on the matter later on.
Anyway, this challenge has persisted long enough (more than consecutive 8 months now) in this area to render all community members helpless and hopeless; whether they are/were rich or poor, young or old, men or women, educated or non-educated. In these all periods of drought, the urban elites and youth groups from these communities have tried their best in easying the matter. They tried their best. They have raised funds at different levels and tried to help the drought stricken community members. Their vigor and hope is now fading. Therefore, they are pleading with the Global Communities. They say in unison, “We appreciate all efforts done by our fellow humans to help our pastoral community, in standing by our side and restoring the livelihood of rural dwellers which is very worse in comparison to towns’. Not only in the past, but also we have seen many individuals and groups supporting the rural people along with us. However, the drought is still being more severe than any time before. Despite the willingness of many Voluntary Aid Organizations and Emergency Projects to share what they have there is a huge gap in provision. We all know that, the Humanitarian Aids Organizations aim to save the lives and give us supplementary and temporal handouts at least. Unfortunately, most of them could not manage to do that because of the lack of tangible information on the ground. Leaders tend to talk about Resilience and Sustainability than our immediate need right now. We want sustainability as any other nations in the world. But now, our urgent need is food, water and medicine for survival.” They also asserted, “The governments, various social groups and stakeholders shall not keep silent on us because we’re on the brink of death. Mass death!’

The Top 10 Poorest Countries in Africa:  With one of the lowest GDP Per Capita ($505) on the continent, Ethiopia making  the 9th poorest country. September 26, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist05df6-normal_addis_ababa_slum_-_march_2013

Shoppers and vendors make their way down a flooded street in Merkato, one of Africa's largest market areas, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, commonly known as Ethiopia, is the continent’s ninth poorest country. Its 100 million citizens make it the most populous landlocked nation in the world, and the second most populous on the continent after Nigeria.

Surprisingly, the economic situation in Ethiopia only worsened as recent as 2008, when the country’s inflation rose to double digits due to it’s a myriad of factors including its loose monetary policy, high food prices, and a huge civil service wage bill. Thus, the economic problems in the country are considered structural issues in governance, which are gradually being addressed by the government. The country’s best performing sector is agriculture.

Nevertheless, the country’s GDP remains to be one of the lowest on the continent, making it the 9th poorest nation.

The ten poorests countries are:

10. Guinea-Conakry

9. Ethiopia

8. The Gambia

7. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

6. Madagascar-

5. Liberia

4. Niger

3. Central African Republic (CAR)

2. Burundi

1. Malawi


9. Ethiopia- GDP per capita: $505.00.

Shoppers and vendors make their way down a flooded street in Merkato, one of Africa's largest market areas, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Shoppers and vendors make their way down a flooded street in Merkato, one of Africa’s largest market areas, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

 

Source: The Top 10 Poorest Countries in Africa

UN: Ethiopia: El Niño: Overview of Impact, Projected Humanitarian Needs and Response as of 02 June 2016 June 3, 2016

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 Odaa Oromoo

Ethiopian Drought (famine) Projected outlook, June -September 2016

ETHIOPIA: The worst drought in 50 years has tripled humanitarian needs since early 2015. More than 2.3 million households need immediate agricultural support. The number of people who need emergency health interventions nearly doubled in three months, from 3.6 million in December 2015 to 6.8 million in March 2016. A total of 10.2 million people still need food assistance, and this number is expected to grow in the second half of the year. There are an estimated 2 million additional ‘ad hoc beneficiaries’ – people needing assistance outside the original plan. Malnutrition rates are staggering, with over one third of Ethiopia’s woredas (districts) officially classified as facing a dire food security and nutrition crisis. A total of 2.5 million children under age 5, pregnant women and nursing mothers need treatment for moderate acute malnutrition . It is estimated that 20 per cent of the expected 435,000 severely malnourished children will develop medical complications that need intensive life-saving medical treatment in hospital-based therapeutic feeding centres….

OCHA_ElNino_Monthly_Report_2Jun2016


The humanitarian impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño remains deeply alarming, now affecting over 60 million people. Central America, East Africa (particularly Ethiopia), the Pacific and Southern Africa remain the most affected regions. The El Niño phenomenon is now in decline, but projections indicate the situation will worsen throughout at least the end of the year, with food insecurity caused primarily by drought not likely to peak before December. Therefore, the humanitarian impacts will last well into 2017 . El Niño has affected food security and agricultural production, with cascading effects on livelihoods, health, water, sanitation, education and other sectors. This is due to flooding, disease outbreaks and malnutrition, disruption of health and education services, and overall increased mortality. In Eastern and Southern Africa,¹ some 50.2 million people are food insecure, many due to drought exacerbated by El Niño or due to a combination of drought and conflict. This number is expected to increase significantly towards the end of the year. Drought, flooding and extreme weather events caused by El Niño affect women and girls in particular ways which must be understood and incorporated into humanitarian and development interventions.

This year’s El Niño is taking place in a world already dramatically affected by climate change. More extreme weather events are expected, and climate change may increase the frequency and severity of future El Niño events. These events hit the poorest communities hardest. This means that, in addition to responding quickly to critical food, water, nutrition, health and livelihoods requirements, efforts must be focused on building climate resilience and the capacity to respond to future shocks.

The likelihood of a La Niña developing by September 2016 has increased to 75 per cent². However, some uncertainty remains, as forecasts made at this time of the year typically have less accuracy than those made during the second half of the year. The World Meteorological Organization’s El Niño/La Niña Update3 of 12 May indicates a return to ENSO-neutral conditions in May 2016, with odds increasing of La Niña development in the third quarter. The specific impacts of La Niña are difficult to predict, but it typically brings extreme weather to the same regions most affected by El Niño, where people’s coping capacities have already been eroded. Areas now experiencing drought could face flooding, and areas that have seen excessive rainfall with El Niño could experience drought. This means that La Niña preparedness and early action need to be built into El Niño response and recovery efforts, and development actors should increase risk and vulnerability-reduction efforts in priority areas, including by reprioritizing existing development funding to mitigate the risks.

Several additional countries have finalized costed response plans since the last Global Overview, raising the funding request to almost US$3.9 billion. Response plans with requests for international assistance have been completed by Governments and/or humanitarian partners in 19 countries, with other plans still being finalized. Since mid-2015, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated over $119 million to 19 countries. Reflecting recent pledges and new funding requests, the current funding gap is almost $2.5 billion. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is expected to issue a regional appeal in June 2016, based on new crop assessments completed in May/June, which is expected to increase the funding request. The food security and agriculture sector is the worst affected by El Niño, with funding requests comprising almost 80 per cent of all national and humanitarian response plans.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

Famine and the “Ethiopia rising” meme: Can bricks be bread? Can starving children eat a train? November 16, 2015

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???????????Ethiopia in 2015, catatrphic famine, over 15 million people affected

This is Ethiopia in 2015: Over 15 million are like this

Famine Ethiopia 2015 BBC reportFamine in Ethiopia 2015ethi_famine_30_years1414175983

 

 

Despite the “Ethiopia rising” meme, the country remains a place where 30.7% of the population live on less than 1.25$/day ; 88 children out of 1000 live births die every year before they reach the age of 5; 67% of all deaths of children aged under 5 years take place before a child’s first birthday; a total of 34.6% of children are born underweight, while 50.7% are stunted; and Ethiopia is a country which has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios (675 maternal deaths/100 000 live births). In addition, Ethiopia is now facing yet another severe drought and looming famine catastrophe ; the worst it has seen in 30 years and estimated 15 million people will likely need food assistance in 2016. UNICEF figures indicate a 27% increase in the number of children treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition already; 197 woredas had measles outbreaks; 14,300 suspected and 11,700 confirmed measles cases so far. Once again, the international community has started its never ending task of feeding hungry Ethiopians who are failed by their own government.   http://shemsubireda.tumblr.com/post/133198947059/the-ethiopia-rising-meme

The “Ethiopia rising” meme

We have been sold this “Ethiopia rising” meme for years now. The Ethiopian government keeps projecting this narrative 24/7. State media have been preoccupied with plastering images of construction projects and GDP rates on the minds of citizens; and Global “Experts on Africa” have added the “Ethiopia rising” meme to their already existing “Africa rising” meme as well.

The “Ethiopia rising” meme has become pernicious in part because it is half-truth. Construction projects are indeed visibly “booming”. We can at least see the Addis Ababa light rail with our own eyes. Sophisticated international economists tell us the latest GDP figures as well. Local, Bole resident, developmental government minions and cadres echo these GDP figures too; along with their fellow traveler, foreign born drive by reporters who are mostly based in Addis Ababa; They go out on field missions on few occasions and believe new buildings and a new light rail in Addis Ababa is the same as development of an entire country of 94 million people.

For such people, their echo chamber is filled with the “Ethiopia rising” noise. As a result, “Ethiopia rising” is the answer to everything. They have been so primed with this meme that they might even answer the question “What is 1 + 1?” with “Ethiopia rising”. Ask them if bricks can be bread or if starving children can eat a train and they will have no answer. (Or maybe they’ll just answer you with “Ethiopia rising”)

Skeptics of this “Ethiopia rising” meme have always been unwilling to buy into this narrative and refuse to equate Ethiopia’s GDP growth with development. Despite the “Ethiopia rising” meme, the country remains a place where 30.7% of the population live on less than 1.25$/day ; 88 children out of 1000 live births die every year before they reach the age of 5; 67% of all deaths of children aged under 5 years take place before a child’s first birthday; a total of 34.6% of children are born underweight, while 50.7% are stunted; and Ethiopia is a country which has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios (675 maternal deaths/100 000 live births)

In addition, Ethiopia is now facing yet another severe drought and looming famine catastrophe ; the worst it has seen in 30 years and estimated 15 million people will likely need food assistance in 2016. UNICEF figures indicate a 27% increase in the number of children treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition already; 197 woredas had measles outbreaks; 14,300 suspected and 11,700 confirmed measles cases so far. Once again, the international community has started its never ending task of feeding hungry Ethiopians who are failed by their own government; yet another evidence for why the “Ethiopia rising” meme remains half-truth, if not a complete lie.

The extent of lives lost due to the ongoing drought is an unknown know reality for the moment. The government has suppressed report on mortality rates. Although public health information is incomplete without such vital statistics, UNICEF’s situations reports on the current humanitarian crisis bear no mortality rates. Even zero deaths should be reported in well-respected information sources such as the UNICEF. But that’s not the case here. UNICEF seems to have adopted a position that says “If the government says there are no children who died of starvation, then there are not children who died of starvation”. Yet, one BBC report states “The United Nations say two babies are dying of starvation every day in one area”. However, the government insists “No one has died or displaced due to lack of food in the areas affected by the drought”.

Without vital information such as mortality rates from independent sources, given the extent of Ethiopia’s previous famine disasters, previous and current governments’ denial and cover up on the extent of such disasters, and in spite of the “Ethiopia rising” meme, it’s hard to tell how bad the situation is. It might even be comparable with the 1984 famine.

Source: http://shemsubireda.tumblr.com/post/133198947059/the-ethiopia-rising-meme

 

 

 

Related:

Residents in the Afar Region of Ethiopia Talk about the Drought (VOA)

http://amharic.voanews.com/audio/3060337.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34770831?SThisFB

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/drought-food-crisis-and-famine-in-ethiopia-2015-children-and-adults-are-dying-of-lack-of-food-water-and-malnutrition-animals-are-perishing-of-persisting-drought-the-worst-affected-areas-are-e/