Of course, I’m happy that the United Nations has declared an end to the famine in Somalia. This is encouraging news, considering that six regions of the country were designated as famine zones last July. However, an estimated 2 million people still face serious food shortages in Somalia. Our work in the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa is nowhere near done.
Good news, but gains are fragile
Heavy rains that began last fall led to one of the best harvests in more than 17 years, and a surge in international aid increased the availability of food, helping to lower prices.
But the UN says these gains are “fragile.” Famine conditions could come back if the traditional August rains are sparse -- and then there’s the political instability that’s been making it difficult for aid organizations to reach the most vulnerable people.
Not a quick fix for Somalia
World Vision staff deliver food distributions to residents at Dadaab camp, Kenya, near the Somali border, last August.
While the most severe conditions have gotten better, we are continuing to provide day-to-day support for people who still don’t have a dependable source of food. And, of course, we’re focusing our efforts on long-term health and development programs so that communities are better equipped to face future droughts.
However, in order for this life-saving aid to continue in Somalia, World Vision’s emergency affairs director, Francois Batalingaya, says that government leaders and the international community must remain committed to the work and the funding needed to sustain it.
“There are no quick fixes for a crisis like the one that Somalia has endured over the past year,” explains Batalingaya. “The international community must continue to provide aid over the longer term to help children and their families in areas where access to food and medical care remains uncertain.”
I’m thankful to God for the progress that has been made, for the rain that has come so far, and for the harvests that are coming for Somalis. If you’d like, please join me in prayer for the many children and families still at risk due to food shortages. Pray for stability in Somalia, and pray, too, that organizations like World Vision will be able to access the people who need assistance the most.
Make a one-time gift to our Lifesaving Food and Care Fund. Your donation will help deliver emergency food aid, agricultural support, and more to children and families in places like the Horn of Africa.