The first famine of the 21st century, striking Somalia in July last year, has been declared by the UN as ‘over’. The famine is estimated to have claimed eighty thousand lives.
This announcement might be seen as pre-emptive, considering that one in three people (2.3 million) still needs emergency assistance. The Shabab, a militia affiliated with al-Qaeda, controls most of the country – including the majority of arable land, which has been affected by the drought, unpredictable weather patterns and Shababfueled unrest. The famine has been largely ignored by mainstream media.
Aid efforts have been obstructed by the Shabab, which possibly also explains the lax media coverage.