FOOD CRISIS IN SOMALIA
- In Editorial
- Post 08 March 2017
- By Maryati/Ani Hasanah
- Hits: 400
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit was held in Jakarta from March 5 to 7, 2017, which coincided with the 20 years of its establishment. One of the summit results is the IORA Concord, approved by all delegates on the last day of the conference.
The objectives of this organization itself are the improvement of economic relations and the welfare of its members, consisting of 21 countries on the edge of the Indian Ocean, 12 in Asia Oceania and 19 in Africa. An IORA member country from Africa which was present in Jakarta is Somalia.
The situation in Somalia is currently of a great concern. Last Tuesday (28/2), the President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared the drought that hit the country a national disaster. It was caused partly by the El Nino weather phenomenon which effects impinged Eastern and Southern Africa region, causing a drop in food production. At least 3 million people are threatened by food shortages.
Only a week after the disaster declaration, 110 people were reportedly starved to death within two days and about 50 thousand children are in danger of perished . The Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Khaire, on Saturday (4/3) announced this in Bay, Western Somalia. To seek help, thousands of people are flocking to the capital Mogadishu.
The United Nations itself had previously stated that 5 million people in Somalia needed emergency food aid. The country along with Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, were identified by the United Nations as the four countries at risk of severe famine. Meanwhile, previously, a British Disasters Emergency Committee, comprising 13 humanitarian aid agencies had also reported the occurrence of the disaster.
It was not the first time Somalia experienced food crisis like this. In 2010-2012, the famine that hit Somalia resulted in nearly 260 thousand people died. 20 years earlier, in 1992, the same disaster left nearly 220 thousand lost their lives.
Fellow IORA member countries certainly can not let such adversity befell Somalia. The drought should become a common concern. Indonesia that now is occupying the chairmanship of IORA should play a role to encourage other member states to help Somalia. Keep in mind, the impacts of El Nino that hit East and South Africa are also possible in any other region in the world. If one of the IORA goals is the cooperation among member states then this is the right time to prove it.