More than half of Africa is now in need of urgent food assistance. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is warning that 27 subSaharan countries now need help. BBC News 31st January 2006 Causes of Famine • Many farmers say that rains have become less reliable in recent years, which could be the result of global warming. • The Sahara desert is certainly expanding to the south, making life increasingly difficult for farmers and pastoralists in places like Niger. • Also, rising populations have led people to farm on increasingly marginal land, even more at risk from even a slight decline in rainfall. • Southern Africa has the world's highest rates of HIV/Aids and this is a major factor in that region's food crisis. • Some of those who should be the most productive farmers - young men and women - are either sick or have died, so their fields are being left untended, while their children go hungry. Causes of Famine • It is particularly striking that the FAO highlights political problems such as civil strife, refugee movements and returnees in 15 of the 27 countries it declares in need of urgent assistance. • By comparison drought is only cited in 12 out of 27 countries. • The implication is clear - Africa's years of wars, coups and civil strife are responsible for more hunger than the natural problems that befall it. In essence Africa's hunger is the product of a series of interrelated factors. Africa is a vast continent, and no one factor can be applied to any particular country. But four issues are critical: • Decades of underinvestment in rural areas, which have little political clout • Wars and political conflict, leading to refugees and instability. • HIV/Aids depriving families of their most productive labour. • Unchecked population growth Famine in Africa • Famine occurs when a region does not have enough food for a long period of time. • People who are starving can die from malnutrition. • Famines are both human-made and natural. • Drought, or lack of rain, makes food scarce because crops die. Famine in Africa • Human forces, like wars, can also cause food shortages. • People in a region can be without food because its cost is too high. • All of these factors have led to famines in Africa. Famine in Africa • Famines in Africa today are the result of poor food distribution and poverty. • There is enough food on Earth for everyone to eat well. • However, many people live where they cannot grow food. • People also live where food cannot be easily transported. Causes: Poverty Poverty and Famine Poverty is at the heart of Africa's problems. This is an overview of some of the economic challenges facing the continent. • Most of Sub-Saharan Africa is in the World Bank's lowest income category of less than $765 Gross National Income (GNI) per person per year. • Ethiopia and Burundi are the worst off with just $90 GNI per person. • Even middle income countries like Gabon and Botswana have sizeable sections of the population living in poverty. • North Africa generally fares better than Sub-Saharan Africa. • Here, the economies are more stable, trade and tourism are relatively high and AIDS is less prevalent. • Development campaigners have argued that the rules on debt, aid and trade need reforming to help lift more African nations out of poverty. Poverty and Famine • • • • • • • • The basic problem is poverty. Most Africans live in rural areas, where many are subsistence farmers, dependent on a good harvest to get enough food to eat. There are hardly any irrigation systems, so people rely on the rains. If one rainy season fails, people have very few savings - in either food or cash - to see them through. Even in good years, there is a "hungry season", when last year's harvests have run out and the next crops are not yet ripe. While people were starving in parts of Niger last year, shops in the capital, Niamey, were full of food but many could not afford to buy it. In both the Horn of Africa and Niger, some of the most vulnerable were pastoralists, whose animals quickly succumbed when there was nothing left to graze. When the animals die, their owners have no other way of getting enough food to eat. Some say that the pastoralist lifestyle is no longer sustainable. Causes: Debt Debt and Famine • The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC) was set up in 1996 to reduce the debt of the poorest countries. • Poor countries are eligible for the scheme if they face unsustainable debt that cannot be reduced by traditional methods. • They also have to agree to follow certain policies of good governance as defined by the World Bank and the IMF. • Once these are established the country is at "decision point" and the amount of debt relief is established. • Critics of the scheme say the parameters are too strict and more countries should be eligible for HIPC debt relief. • This map shows how much "decision point" HIPC countries spend on repaying debts and interest. • Fourteen African HIPC countries will have their debts totally written off under a new plan drawn up by the G8 finance ministers (2005). Causes: Reliance on aid Reliance on Aid and Famine • Africa receives about a third of the total aid given by governments around the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. • Much of this has conditions attached, meaning governments must implement certain policies to receive the aid or must spend the money on goods and services from the donor country. • The World Bank, which is reviewing its conditionality policies, argues that aid is far more effective, and less vulnerable to corruption, when coupled with improved governance. • There was a sharp drop in rich countries' relative spending on aid in the late 1990s. • The Make Poverty History campaign urged the G8 to raise an extra $50bn more in aid per year and to enforce earlier pledges for developed countries to give 0.7% of their annual GDP in aid. Famine in Africa • Tens of millions of people across more than half the states in sub-Saharan Africa need urgent food aid, but the causes are often complex and varied. • Food crises were once primarily triggered by natural disasters like droughts. • But according to research by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, man-made causes are increasingly to blame. • These include conflict and poor governance, as well as HIV/Aids. • Rural poverty, international trade barriers, overpopulation, deforestation, poor use of land and environmental problems can also be factors. Famine in Africa • Many famines have taken place in the Horn of Africa. • The Horn of Africa is a large peninsula in the northeast region of the continent. • Famines in this region include the Ethiopian Famine of the mid-1980s, which is estimated to have killed over a million people. • This famine was made worse by high food prices and overpopulation, Famine in Africa • On the continent, the risk of famine is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. • Today, Niger, southern Sudan, Somalia, and Zimbabwe are areas with emergency famine status. • Africa’s greatest humanitarian crisis is in Darfur, in western Sudan. • A humanitarian crisis is one in which many human lives are at risk in a region. Africa's Permanent Food Crisis • More than 30 million people are going hungry across Africa from the west, to the horn and the south, says the UN's World Food Programme. • Poor rains have contributed to the problem but the root causes are many and complex. Which countries are worst affected? • At the moment, the Horn of Africa is worst hit, especially Somalia, north-eastern Kenyan and Ethiopia. • Some 11 million people need food aid in the region after poor rains, the WFP says. • About half of these are on the brink of starvation and need urgent help. • In West Africa, the WFP plans to help about 10 million people. Last year's rains and harvests were not too bad but aid workers say that endemic poverty and conflict mean lots of people still need help. • Aid workers do not want to repeat the mistakes made in Niger last year (2005), when little was done to help the hungry until television pictures of starving children shocked the world. • Further south, about 12 million need food aid in countries such as Malawi and Zimbabwe, says the WFP. 4. Drought Horn of Africa disaster • Caused by two consecutive poor rainy seasons begun in 2010 • Complicated by war, restricted access of NGOs Horn of Africa disaster • Ethiopia: 3.2 million • Kenya: 3.5 million • Somalia: 2.8 million • Djibouti: 100,000+ Horn of Africa disaster • Worst impact in Somalia • 15,000 fleeing daily, every month in 2011 • Arriving in Kenya, Ethiopia Horn of Africa disaster • Six camps in Ethiopia house 130,000 Somalis • Dadaab camp in Kenya now largest refugee camp worldwide Horn of Africa disaster • Food prices rising • Grain in Kenya 30%-80% higher than normal • Moving out of reach of households Horn of Africa disaster • Refugee camps overwhelmed • Conflict and clashes in camps • Could destabilize border nations Horn of Africa disaster • Malnutrition issue worse: 1 in 3 children malnourished • Impact on local economy severe: long-term effects Horn of Africa disaster • Size and scope and issues lead many countries to give up helping • World Food Program short by 33%. Horn of Africa disaster • Somalia has dropped ban on non-Muslim NGOs • Al Shabab “welcomes nonMuslim foreign aid groups” ETHIOPIA • Estimated population: 77.43m • Projected number needing food aid: 1.7m Key underlying reasons: • Drought • Refugees • High food prices • Overpopulation NIGER • Estimated population: 13.95m • Projected number needing food aid: 3m Key underlying reasons: • After-effects of 2004 drought and locusts DEMOCRATIC REP. OF CONGO • Estimated population: 57.54m • Projected number needing food aid: 3m Key underlying reasons: • Conflict • Refugees • War, malnutrition and disease have killed at least 3.8m people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last seven years. SUDAN • Estimated population: 36.23m • Projected number needing food aid: 6.1m Key underlying reasons: • Conflict in western Darfur region has displaced 2m people • South recovering from longrunning civil war • Drought in parts • Where farming is taking place, it is on a very small scale with most people cultivating with a simple hand tool called a 'maloda'. Ethiopia • Difficult Environment: – Deep Canyons Isolated Villages – Crops Depend on Erratic Rainfall – Prolonged Drought Famine Nutritional problems of children in Ethiopia • Ethiopia is one of the most food insecure countries in the world having both chronic and transitory food insecurity and frequent attacks of famine in the recent past – Food insecurity incorporates- low food intake , variable access to food, and vulnerability • Food insecurity is mostly associated with drought, poor land management practices, diseases, attack by pests, destruction of crops by flood, etc.. Current estimated food security conditions: January to March 2009 Source: FEWS NET and WFP Ethiopia Nutritional problems …. • Nutritional problems continue to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children • Manifest by – Protein Energy Malnutrition ( PEM) – Micronutrient malnutrition • Vitamin A deficiency ( VAD ) • Iodine Deficiency disorders (IDDS) • Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) Nutritional problems …. • The plight usually starts during intrauterine life with maternal malnutrition (during and prior to pregnancy) • Continues to childhood with the same condition (Feeding, Health Care, Environment) Trends in malnutrition in under-fives in Ethiopia, 1982-2000 ( Zewuditu et al ,2001) Nutritional Status of Children Under Age 5, 2000 and 2005 Source: Ethiopia DHS, 2005 Nutritional status of children under five years of age Percent Source: Ethiopia DHS, Stunting at Age 2- critical period UNICEF/C-55-34/Watson (EDHS - 2005) 51% Source: Ethiopia DHS, 2005. «Hidden» death due to malnutrition in Ethiopia 80% of the death due to malnutrition is contributed for by Mild and Moderate Malnutrition Mild & Moderate Severe Only 1 in 5 malnutrition-related deaths is due to severe malnutrition Malnutrition and intellectual development Reduced: • Learning ability • School performance • Retention rates What do you do to help yourself when your parents are dead from war, famine or AIDS?