Sunday, 15 January 2012


  • Stastna, Kazi. "ANALYSIS: Horn of Africa Famine as Much about Geopolitics as Drought - World - CBC News." Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <>.
  • "K'naan on Somalia on MSN Video." MSN Video. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <>.
  •  Ighobor, Kingsley. "Africa Renewal | Famine in Somalia and the Horn of Africa: Tackling the Evils of Famine." Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <>.
  • Hanson, Stephanie. "Al-Shabaab." Web. <>.
  •  Guled, Mo. "Somaliland Ready to Aid Famine-hit Somalia |" | Somaliland News | Somalia News | Ethiopia | Kenya | Djibouti | Breaking News. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <>.
  • Godoy, Julio. "Global Warming Behind Somali Drought — Global Issues." Global Issues : Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All — Global Issues. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <>.
  • Getachew, Samuel. "Prime Minister Harper Discusses Government's Role in East African Famine Relief."
  • Sway Magazine. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. < discusses governments-role-in-east-african-famine-relief/>.
  • "African Success : Biography of K'naan WARSAME." African Success : People Changing the Face of Africa 
  • "Horn of Africa." Alliance For Peacebuilding. Web. 05 Dec. 2011
  • image by J.J. Andersson, 7 Mar 2002
  • www.topnews.n.nzet
  • "GICLogout." GaleNet. Web. 10 Jan. 2012 <>.
  • "GICLogout." GaleNet. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <>.
  • A Spiritual Response to Drought and Famine- Database Article
  • Horn of Africa- Human Trafficking on the Rise Amid Drought and Famine- Database Article


Through the use of technology I have learned to blog and share my opinions with others. It has helped me learn a lot about the African Famine Relief and I'm sure others have learned something too. It is very useful and easy to be able to use the internet to do this project, but I also found myself really easily distracted. Overall, it made it fun to share my topic through a blog where you can put your own personality into it from multimedia elements as well. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012


"The challenges of change are always hard. It is important that we begin to unpack those challenges that confront this nation and realize that we each have a role that requires us to change and become more responsible for shaping our own future." -Anonymous

I chose this topic because I have a passion for Africa. Everything about it; nature, beauty, culture and the people.  For something that has been going on for twenty odd years, I am surprised as to how many people are clueless about this issue, myself including. And then I ask why? Why is it that people don't care? These are human beings suffering, it is not just an issue of drought or global warming; it could of been me or you. Now the thought of apathy comes to mind, if this was happening to you, would you want the whole world to care? Yeah. So, why not do the same even if you aren't a victim? Money is what is needed to rid this famine. I thought that it wouldn't be a problem, if the whole world donated a fraction each of what money is needed then it would be solved. Well, I have definitely learned that it won't happen. We've all got to be for it; the African politicians, England, North America, Japan, me, you! If there isn't full support all the time, all these problems won't be solved. It is not just a food issue or a drought issue. It's agricultural, it's money, its controlling the warfare. The number one thing I have learned is that IT IS HARD. It's hard to resolved this famine if there is more then one cause to the problem. I don't care if geologists saw this drought coming and they could of prevented it. The thing is, that it happened and it is real. I now understand that the world is doing the best it can under these difficult circumstances and it is much more of a bigger issue then first glancers make it out to be.


Hope. It is such a weak word that people throw around like it is nothing. But for the people of the Horn of Africa, it is all they have left. I thought I would share this story with you guys. You don't have to agree with this woman's opinion but take time to consider the situation she is in and exactly why she feels this way; because nothing else is working! I find this story very inspiring and interesting; I wonder how many other victims feel this way spiritually.

"A famine is ravaging in the Horn of Africa. In Kenya, where I live, it is estimated that close to four million people are faced with starvation. Many have died, livestock and animals have been wiped out, and the pictures of suffering are disturbing. Nevertheless, in the true spirit of good neighborliness, Kenyans have made donations big and small to help ease the effects of a drought said to be the severest in more then fifty years. Other donors have included foreign governments, United Nations bodies, local and international non-governmental organizations and many more. How do we find our way out of this drought and famine? And how can we find a permanent solution to the seeming cycle of suffering and relief, which has a way of repeating itself with the vagaries of climate and harvest? Many good suggestions have been discussed, including the rehabilitation and management of water resources for irrigations, the drilling of boreholes, the farming of high nutrition, drought resistant crops, and potential dietary changes among local communities. But to be able to turn this around in meaningful and lasting ways, we must also mentally turn upward from the material picture of lack to understand and focus on God's abundance. This spiritual stand is what will ultimately bring about the required shift." 


''It is better to light a candle than to curse the dark''
- K'naan


This story breaks my heart. The people of the Horn of Africa need compassion. These countries need to stick together for support, not distance themselves. One's desire to escape the evils of the famine has led them and many others down another path of despair. Check it out:

"Amina Shakir(not her real name) fled the drought and famine in Somalia for a better life in Kenya. But she did so illegally, placing her faith in the hands of a criminal network headed by agents of Swahili. In the end, her faith was misplaced as she was 'sold' into employment upon finally reaching Kenya. But Shakir is not the only one illegally crossing the border into Kenya. Natural disasters, armed conflict and famine devastating the Horn of Africa have caused an increase in the region. Womankind Kenya, a non-governmental organization based in Garissa in Kenya's North Eastern province estimate that fifty young girls are trafficked or smuggled to Nairobi from here and Somalia each week. Nairobi is the central market from where girls are distributed to different parts of Kenya and to other countries. Tour operators and hotel workers work as brokers and charge a fee of six hundred dollars for young girls aged ten and fifteen years who are mostly sold into sexual slavery. Traffickers prey on drought, poverty and conflict in the Horn of Africa to smuggle people to Nairobi and across the world with promise for a better life. Trafficking persons is now criminal and people involved in or convicted of the offence face a thirty year jail term and a fine of three hundred thousand dollars. The provincial police office in Coast Province says, 'One hundred and forty people are arrested weekly after being smuggled or trafficked into Kenya amounting to 7280 arrests per year.'"

Sunday, 8 January 2012


There is no one set solution to ending this famine, except the fact that these countries need money; 2.5 billion dollars. But that's not going to happen right away, many countries and organization make many contributions to help ease the effects of the famine.
The vice president of Somaliland, Abdiraham A. Islmail declared a meeting at the Presidential Palace to discuss providing aid to famine stricken Somalia. This would be the very first time Somaliland will dispatch a humanitarian aid to another state. The Somaliland government believes they were ready to send relief aid to Somalia's suffering people and that it will collaborate with the international community. 
Presidential spokesman Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir said the three point plan is:
1. Somaliland's readiness to collaborate with international efforts to fight the famine in Somalia. 
2. Somaliland was ready to send its own aid and to establish a seven member emergency humanitarian committee.
3. Somaliland will provide its Port of Berbera to the international community to deliver aid destined for Somalia and that Somaliland will put great emphasis on successful delivery.

- Somaliland, once part of Somalia, dissolved its union with Mogadishu in 1991 and has ever since enjoyed a relative peace.

 image by J.J. Andersson, 7 Mar 2002 

On Monday November 21st, the United Nations Food Security Nutrition Analysis Unit lifted it's famine designation for three regions in Somalia; Bakool, Bay and Lower Shabelle regions in Somalia. In Nairobi, South Africa began airlifting 264 tons of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states' food assistance to Mogadishu, capital of Somalia. Even though the UN downgraded its famine status in these regions the food assistance will not be in vain. If anything, the downgrade proves that food aid has helped decrease the threat of famine in these areas. The food will then be distributed by members of the World Food Program but now it all depends on how successful the food will be distributed throughout Somalia, and we all know why there would be a problem. The al Shabaab militia, which controls much of Somalia, has banned the World Food Program from the areas they control. Smart thinking, the World Food Program has partnered with aid agencies who are allowed to work in these areas, so food aid can be distributed in al- Shabaab territory, no problem. Even with food aid, the famine is still severe in Mogadishu and other parts of the country. A spokeswoman from Nairobi, Susanna Nicol says that, "poor infrastructure severely hampers aid efforts in the war torn country."

Prime Minister Harper's first opportunity to visit Africa was in 2007; it was when he attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Uganda. Mr Harper notes, "Canada and much of Africa have a lot in common. Vast geographic distances and breathtaking natural beauty among them." For many years, Canada has been involved with the African continent through traditional aid and development programs! Canada should be most proud of last years Muskoka Initiative; it was announced at the G-8 in 2010 that the total Canadian contribution for Maternal, Newborn and Child health would be $2.85 billion over five years.
A question was asked of Harper: "Why is it important for governments such as ours to still be engaged in world affairs and especially in time of great need?" The Prime Ministers answer was simple: "Canada is one of the most fortunate countries in the world in so many ways. When you are this fortunate, it is important to do what you can to help those who need help. It's as simple as that and Canada will always do its part." 
Canada has already committed $22.3 million dollars which has gone to programs like the World Food Program, The UN Refugee Agency, World Vision, Oxfam Canada and Doctors Without Borders to help Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Canada has also provided enough funding to help provide access to water and sanitation services in Kenya.

Friday, 23 December 2011


Al-Shabaab is an Islamic organization that controls much of southern Somalia, excluding the capital, Mogadishu. It has waged insurgency against Somalia's transitional government since 2006. Al-Shabaab contains thousands of fighters and continues to grow because of Somalia's absent government. Even the clan war lords that were present before have proven willing to co operate. Foreign fighters have also travelled to Somalia to join the fight with the al-Shabaab. To begin with, the Western influence and help towards the al-Shabaab had only increased popular support. But, the 2011 wide spread famine has weakened the group. International Crisis Groups Horn of Africa analyst says, ''many in Somalia, even former supporters of the group, saw them as culpable in the crisis because they prevented aid groups from helping needy populations in time. The group has imposed Sharia law in some towns. hen it started its invasion in 2006, they used tactics such as suicide bombing, shootings and targeted assassinations to oppose the Somali government and what the al-Shabaab perceived as ''allies''; from aid groups, the Ethiopian military, to the African Union peacekeepers. In February 2008, the United States added the group to its list of foreign terrorist organizations. Al-Shabaab's broad aim is to eradicate clan divisions and the nation state. Also to reconstitute Somalia as a Islamic state under Sharia law, which worries its neighbors Kenya and Ethiopia, that both have huge Somali populations.
 "The only thing that's going to stabilize Somalia is when people in the South come to do what the people in the North have already done. Which is to reconcile among themselves and agree. Starting from a community base of pacts between each other that they're going to stop conflict and start to create administrations . It has worked in the North and it is spreading in the North." - Sally Healy of the British think tank Chatham House.

The most impacted players of the famine would have to be the citizens of the Horn of Africa; because all the conflict and the drought not being their fault, they are the ones who have to suffer.  And what ends up happening to them? They are either killed, die of starvation and other complications or they flee the city hoping for a better life elsewhere, but the worst is that some are just stuck there. In July 2011, the UN officially declared famine in five regions of Somalia- Mogadishu, Afgoye, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Southern Bakool. Tens of thousands of shallow graves litter these regions, so far some 29 000 children under the age of five are among the buried. In mid-August, 400,000 Somalis had made lucky escapes to now the worlds largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Northeastern Kenya. The UN Food and Agriculture organization estimates that up to 1500 people move daily across the border to the camp. The al-Shabaab is preventing aid from reaching 3.6 million people which is nearly half the population, while 1.4 million people are severely affected by the drought. CARE states "Somalia's malnutrition rate is fifty percent, the highest in the world." But that is just in Somalia alone, 12.4 million people in the Horn of Africa are in desperate need of food aid. Crop losses in Ethiopia and Eritrea are up to 75% and only the countires Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisuma have experienced rainfall; but it still wasn't enough. 
As of August 15 2011, only 48% of the 2.5 billion dollars needed has been received, there is an urgent need for the remaining 1.3 billion dollars to help the people of the Horn of Africa.

I can't even begin to describe how many organizations that are involved in the famine in Africa. They have contributed so much and each organization is highly need; CARE, Oxfam, Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, Valid Nutrition and the World Food Program. They are all a part of helping deliver aid to the people of the Horn of Africa. But organizations such as the World Food Program are banned from most of Somalia's regions because of the al-Shabaab. 
Here's a quick look into a few of the contributing organizations:
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres- MSF provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care or natural disasters. MSF also reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols.
CARE- CARE has grown into one of the world's largest private humanitarian and development organization, reaching millions of people in over 80 countries around the world. CARE helps strengthen communities through an array of programs that work to create lasting solutions to the root causes of poverty. They focus on- Maternal child and health, climate change, emergency relief, HIV & AIDS, food security, and economic development.
World Food Programme- WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. WFP will continue to: use food aid to support economic and social development, meet refugee and other emergency food needs, and the associated logistics support, promote world food security in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations and FAO. The core policies and strategies that keep the WFP running are: to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations, to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives and to help build assets to promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour intensive works programmes. 
  • Drew Barrymore- WFP Ambassador-