Horn of Africa Drought 2011 – Give me hope that ‘help’ is coming!


Title Horn of Africa   Drought 2011 – Give me hope that ‘help’ is coming!
Director(s) RGB Street Scholar
Date released 2011
Production company RGB Street Scholar
Length 4.10mins
Location Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia
Keywords/tags Food security, climate, food aid,   activism
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8YoCdMpMUU&feature=share&list=PLIAHio7X18uEHwLYz6zWwgoV96r3BLu1X
Synopsis This music video (featuring a remix   of the Tracy Chapman song ‘Let It Rain’) endeavours to highlight the urgent   need of our brothers and sisters in Horn of Africa, whose lives are   endangered by the worst drought in sixty years. More than 10 million people   (including those in the worst affected areas of Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, and   Ethiopia).

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8YoCdMpMUU

Reviews/discussion United Nations and international   aid agencies say the crisis is overwhelming their ability to provide   assistance to the millions of people who are suffering… and as the agencies   are overstretched and under-funded, they are appealing for more help from the   international community.
The U.N. Children’s Fund estimates more than two million young children from the Horn of Africa are malnourished, and in need of urgent life-saving actions. It says half a million of those children are facing imminent life-threatening conditions… and warns that many of the children may be left with long-lasting physical and mental problems.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are fully stretched in various locations   inside Somalia, as well as assisting exhausted refugees crossing Somalia’s   borders into Ethiopia and Kenya.

According to World Vision… Risks of the outbreak of disease are growing,   and people’s access to food and water is in jeopardy. Children are among   those most vulnerable in the worst hit countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and   Somalia.

Save the Children has advised that more than a quarter of children in the   worst-hit parts of Kenya are now dangerously malnourished… and in Somalia,   malnutrition rates have reached 30 percent in some areas, making the Horn of   Africa one of the hungriest places on earth.
Save the Children has already launched a major humanitarian response in   Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia… feeding tens of thousands of underweight   children; providing life-saving medical treatment; and getting clean water to   remote communities. But with the situation worsening by the day – and no more   rain due till late September – Save the Children urgently needs money to   dramatically ramp up its response.

According to Matt Croucher, Save the Children’s regional emergency manager   for East Africa… “Thousands of children could starve if we don’t get   life-saving help to them fast”… “Parents no longer have any way   to feed their children; they’ve lost their animals; their wells have dried   up; and food is too expensive to afford”… “We can stop this   tragedy unfolding, but we only have half the money we need. We urgently need   to raise the rest so we can save more children’s lives.”

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8YoCdMpMUU

Links to other resources World Food   Programme

Save the Children: https://secure.savethechildren.org/

Médecins Sans Frontières: http://www.msf.org/

CARE International: https://my.care.org

World Vision: http://donate.worldvision.org

Unicef: http://www.supportunicef.org

Plan International: http://plan-international.org

Oxfam International: http://www.oxfam.org/

Oxfam published a briefing on   climate change and drought in east Africa

The Guardian Poverty Matters Blog: Posted by Duncan Green , Monday 8 August 2011   07.00 BST guardian.co.uk

East Africa food crisis appeal 2011

Title East Africa food   crisis appeal 2011
Date released (year) 2011
Production company Christian Aid
Length 1.56 mins
Location East Africa: Kenya
Keywords/tags Drought, food crisis, climate,   famine, aid, poverty
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f3fboWwlVs&feature=share&list=PLIAHio7X18uEHwLYz6zWwgoV96r3BLu1X
Synopsis As the drought intensifies in north   eastern and eastern Kenya, Christian Aid partner CCSMKE provides much need   relief, including transporting water to villages experiencing the worst of   the drought conditions.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f3fboWwlVs&feature=share&list=PLIAHio7X18uEHwLYz6zWwgoV96r3BLu1X

Reviews/discussion From the Institute of Development Studies:

The East African food   crisis: beyond drought and food aid

11 July 2011


Millions   of East Africans are once again threatened by famine. The last major famine   in the region occurred in Ethiopia, not in 1984 when an estimated 590,000   people died, but in the country’s Somali Region in 2000 when between 70,000   and 120,000 lives were lost.

Just over a decade later, the humanitarian response has   started too late, as it did in 1983 and 1999, and many preventable deaths   have already been reported. What are the real causes of this crisis – beyond   drought – and what are the most appropriate responses – beyond food aid?

Drought,   or vulnerability to drought?

Drought-triggered food crises are regular events in   arid and semi-arid areas of the Horn of Africa. The famine of 2000 in   Ethiopia followed a sequence of droughts that started in 1997. In northern   Kenya, a complete failure of the short rains in 2005 caused 30-40 per cent   livestock losses and distress migration of pastoralists, 3.5 million of whom   needed emergency assistance. Another drought followed in 2008/9, and the   current crisis was precipitated by many districts recording the driest rainy   season in 60 years.

But drought doesn’t cause famine: vulnerability to   drought causes famine. The causes of vulnerability in the Horn are complex,   but include (1) climate change (not lower rainfall, but more erratic   rainfall); (2) policy failure (not least a shameful neglect of basic   service provision for pastoralist communities); and (3) conflict   (most visibly in Somalia, also low-level violence in southern Ethiopia and   northern Kenya). Two common factors across all affected countries are   persistent droughts and a persistent failure to support the efforts of local   people to adapt to their increasingly marginal environments.

One   crisis, many responses

The first response must be compassion   – humanitarian relief needs to be fully supported at every level, from   individual donations to institutional advocacy. For many years, people in   northern Kenya’s arid and semi-arid districts have received food aid for   several months each year. More ambitious social protection interventions,   like the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in northern Kenya and the   Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia, deliver regular cash transfers to 300,000 Kenyans and   over 8 million Ethiopians, with the aims of boosting consumption, protecting   household assets and promoting investment in livelihoods. The Centre for   Social Protection, based at IDS, is monitoring and evaluating the impacts of   HSNP and PSNP. Significant positive gains have been recorded in household   food security and other indicators of wellbeing.

In Somalia, prolonged civil conflict and insecurity and   an absence of government means that these forms of support are virtually   absent. However, the inability of conventional social protection to build   resilience against severe shocks has been dramatically exposed by the ongoing   emergency. Because the underlying causes of vulnerability in the Horn were   never systematically addressed, the crisis never really went away.

Second, better analysis is needed, not just to sharpen responses   to the current crisis but to reduce the likelihood of similar crises in   future. (1)   What caused the crisis?Drought was certainly the trigger, but understanding   causes requires analysing livelihoods, policy processes (in agriculture,   pastoralism, social protection) and national, regional and global politics. (2) How   severe is the crisis? How many people need immediate relief? How   badly affected are they? What assistance will they need to rebuild their   livelihoods once food aid stops? (3) Why was the response late?Did early warning   systems fail to sound the alarm? Or did governments and donor agencies fail   to respond, and if so, why?

Third, more effective risk management   mechanisms are needed. These could include: (1) making social protection   interventions more flexible, by scaling up the HSNP and PSNP in difficult   years, or (2) offering low-paid work on demand, along the lines of India’s   Employment Guarantee Scheme, or (3) subsidising weather-indexed crop and   livestock insurance schemes (this is being piloted in Kenya). Recent thinking   on ‘adaptive social protection’, which links social protection, climate   change adaptation and disaster risk management, shows how an integrated   approach can enhance resilience to shocks and stresses.

Finally, the most sustainable solution is to build more   resilient   livelihoods. This includes conflict resolution mechanisms and   lifting restrictions on mobility and cross-border trade. It also implies   supporting alternative livelihoods and exits from pastoralism for those who   choose this (but not forced sedentarisation). Governments need to invest   seriously in education, especially for girls, to empower the next generation   with the skills they need to pursue less climate-sensitive livelihood   options.

Act now,   plan for tomorrow

The humanitarian imperative to minimise avoidable   suffering demands that we act now. But equally important is to take steps to   minimise avoidable suffering in the future. Only by understanding what went   wrong this time can the links from early warning to response be strengthened,   effective risk management mechanisms installed and climate-sensitive   livelihoods made more resilient. Ultimately, this requires political   commitment at the highest levels. In the meantime, as individuals we must do   what we can. Please donate.

By Stephen Devereux ,  IDS Fellow.

Source: http://www.ids.ac.uk/news/the-east-african-food-crisis-beyond-drought-and-food-aid

See related discussions at: https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/east-africa-famine-appeal-the-need-in-drought-striken-areas/

Links to other resources For critical discussion of FOOD   AID: http://www.globalissues.org/article/748/food-aid

Christian Aid: http://www.christianaid.org.uk

Save the Children: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.7539035/k.B9FB/Africa_Drought_Sparks_Food_Shortage_Child_Hunger_and_Humanitarian_Crisis.htm

The Guardian News: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/jul/12/east-africa-drought-food-crisis  

East Africa Famine Appeal: The need in drought-striken areas


Title East Africa Famine Appeal: The need   in drought-striken areas
Date released (year) 2011
Production company SOSchildrenUK
Length 1.52MINS
Location East Africa
Keywords/tags Famine, food insecurity, climate,   aid, poverty
Link to film http://youtu.be/OUsIvQ1etsI
Synopsis SOS Children have launched an   Emergency Relief Programme for families and children affected by drought in   Somalia, providing food, water and medical care for thousands of families. We   are expanding our operations into Kenya and Ethiopia.
Reviews/discussion From SOSchildren.com:

East Africa drought crisis still ‘huge’

Oct   20, 2011 10:09 AM

The size of the humanitarian emergency in the   Horn of Africa remains massive, says a British politician.

Three months after famine was officially declared   in Somalia, hundreds of people, mainly children, are still dying every day,   said Britain’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell.

The drought and famine have forced thousands of   people into refugee camps and left 12 million people in need of aid and   750,000 at risk of death in Somalia, according to the latest figures from the   Famine Early Warning System FEWS.

Earlier this week it was revealed that British   aid is feeding more than 2.4m people across the region and an appeal by the   UK’s Disasters and Emergency Committee has raised £72m, but that is still not   enough.

With the rainy season round the corner, people   caught up in the crisis are now facing the risk of disease spreading across   crowded refugee camps.

More than 400,000 children are still at risk of   death, just in Somalia alone, Mr Mitchell notes.

British aid pouring into the region has been   concentrated on keeping people healthy. About 1.3m people have been given   jabs against measles, for instance, and 400,000 doses of anti-malarial drugs   are heading for Somalia.

Although the rains look likely to bring with them   yet more misery and death, they can also play a part in the region’s recovery   from the disaster. Funds raised by British people have helped buy seeds for   more than 200,000 people, which they will be able to plant and grow when the   weather improves.

The biggest problem, however is still actually   getting to people in need who are living inside the parts of Somalia worst   affected by fighting. Famine was officially declared in the lawless country   as far back as July. And because they can’t get aid if they stay put, the   number of Somali refugees crossing into south-eastern Ethiopia is on the   rise.

Announcing its appeal to help people hit by the   crisis DEC chief executive Brendan Gormley said earlier this week: “The   incredibly generous support of the UK public for the DEC East Africa Crisis   Appeal has made the difference between life and death for many people in the   region.

But, he warned that “the situation remains   grave however particularly in those areas of Somalia where access for most aid   agencies remains severely restricted.”

The appeal brought   in the third highest amount in charity’s 45-year history – only the Asian   tsunami (£392m) and the Haiti earthquake (£107m) raised more.

Source: http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/about-our-charity/archive/2011/10/east-africa-drought-crisis-still-2018huge2019

From Oxfam:

Climate change increasing poverty and vulnerability in Ethiopia

Oxfam Press Release, Published: 22 April 2010

Small-scale   farmers and pastoralists in Ethiopia are likely to bear the brunt of the   negative impacts of climate change in the region, which will include   increased poverty, water scarcity, and food insecurity, according to a new   Oxfam International report released today.

The international development agency’s report, “The Rain   Doesn’t Come on Time Anymore: Poverty, Vulnerability, and Climate Variability   in Ethiopia,” was launched at a special Earth Day celebration organized by the   Climate Change Forum-Ethiopia in collaboration with other environmental   organizations. While Ethiopia has always suffered   from great climatic variability, including droughts that have contributed to   hunger and even famine in the past, the report details how climate change is   set to make the lives of the poorest even harder.

A country of farmers

“People who are already poor and marginalized are   struggling to cope with the added burden of increasingly unpredictable   weather,” said Abera Tola, Oxfam’s Horn of Africa regional director. “It is   getting harder and harder for families and communities to bounce back from   ever-changing, inconsistent weather affecting their livelihoods, and many   have been forced to sell livestock or remove children from school – coping   mechanisms that only increase the cycle of vulnerability.”

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world   and 85 percent of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood.   The agricultural sector is especially vulnerable to the adversities of   weather and climate since it is rain fed, done using relatively basic   technologies, and on tiny plots of land.

Women are hardest hit

“From the Rift Valley to Tigray, farmers and   pastoralists around the country have shared with us the toll that the   changing weather is having on their communities, from ruined crops to dying   cattle,” said Tola. “Even relatively small shifts in the growing season, can   spell disaster for the poorest farmers and pastoralists who are already   struggling in poverty.”

Women and girls in particular are disproportionately   affected by climate variability. In times of crisis, women tend to stay home   with their children, while men move away to look for alternative means of   survival. Women also have fewer options to find other ways of making a   living, especially since women’s literacy rate is not even half of that of   men. Women are also not given a say in household decisions and are frequently   without cash savings or assets to sell to buy food and other basic items.

“The rain doesn’t come on time anymore. After we plant,   the rain stops just as our crops start to grow. And it begins to rain after   the crops have already been ruined,” Sefya Funge, a farmer in Adamitullu   Jiddo Kombolcha district in Ethiopia told Oxfam. “Because of a lack of feed   and water, most of my cattle have died. The few that survived had to be sold   so that we could buy food to live on. As I no longer have the means to   support my family, only three of my eight kids are still with me. Losing our   assets was bad, but the fact that our family is separated is devastating.”

Coping with climate change

With some assistance from non-governmental   organizations and the government, small-scale farmers and pastoralists are   adopting a variety of coping mechanisms, according to the report. In the   farming areas, many are shifting to more drought tolerant crops and   varieties, improved forest management practices, diversified energy sources,   and alternative means of income from off-farm activities. Pastoralists have   also divided pasture into wet and dry season grazing areas to better manage   risk, while others have changed the composition of their heard from cattle to   camels and goats, which can better tolerate dry, hot weather.

Poverty, limited resources, little alternative sources   of income and livelihoods, lack of knowledge and expertise, and the absence   of appropriate public policies and financing, increase vulnerability and   decrease people’s capacity to cope.

Source: http://www.oxfam.org/pressroom/pressrelease/2010-04-22/climate-change-increasing-poverty-and-vulnerability-ethiopia


From The Guardian’s   Poverty Matters Blog:

Is climate change to   blame for famine in the Horn of Africa?

It’s impossible to   answer with a simple yes or no – but here’s a summary of what we think we   know so far.

A herd of goats at Dadaab   refugee camp in Kenya. The current drought conditions have been caused by   successive seasons with very low rainfall. Photograph: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

So is famine in the Horn of Africa linked to climate change or not?   The question arises whenever “extreme weather events” – hurricanes,   floods, droughts – hit our TV screens. It’s impossible to answer with a   simple yes or no – but here’s what we think we know so far.

The current drought conditions have been caused by successive seasons   with very low rainfall. Over the past year, the eastern Horn of Africa has   experienced two consecutive failed rainy seasons. According to surveys of   local communities, this is part of a long-term shift. Borana communities in   Ethiopia report that whereas droughts were recorded every six to eight years   in the past, they now occur every one to two years.

Meteorological data back up the picture on temperatures: mean annual   temperatures increased from 1960-2006 by 1C in Kenya and 1.3C in Ethiopia,   and the frequency of hot days is increasing in both countries. Rainfall   trends are less clear: according to the Intergovernmental   Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, there are no   statistically significant trends in rainfall. However, more recent research   suggests that rainfall decreased from 1980 to 2009 during the   “long-rains” (March to June).

The historical record does not “prove” that the current drought   is directly attributable to climate change. True, there are now a few cases   in which scientists have been able to estimate the extent to which man-made   climate change has made a particular extreme weather event more likely, but   these exercises require reliable long-term weather data that only exists for   Europe and North America – no such studies as yet exist in the case of the   current drought.

What about the future? Globally, climate change modelling projects an   increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events like   droughts and floods. In the absence of urgent action to slash global   greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures in the region will probably increase   by 3C-4C by 2080-99 relative to 1980-99.

But again, rainfall projections are unclear. Most modelling, as reflected   in the IPCC’s last assessment, suggests more rain will fall in the east   Africa region as a whole, with an increase in “heavy events”   (sudden downpours, so more flood risk). However, some recent studies suggest   rainfall will decrease, particularly in the long rains.

The combination of higher temperatures and more unpredictable rains is   alarming for food production. One recent estimate published by the Royal Society suggests much   of east Africa could suffer a decline in the length of the growing period for   key crops of up to 20% by the end of the century, with the productivity of   beans falling by nearly 50%.

The conclusion? Attributing the current drought directly to climate   change is impossible, but in the words of Sir John Beddington, the UK   government’s chief scientific adviser, in a talk at Oxfam last week,   “worldwide, events like this have a higher probability of occurring as a   result of climate change”. Moreover, unless something is done, the   current suffering offers a grim foretaste of the future – temperatures in   east Africa are going to rise and rainfall patterns will change, making a bad   situation worse.

What to do? First, remember that while the drought is caused by lack of   rainfall, famine is man-made. As the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya   Sen famously observed, famines do not occur in functioning democracies. The   difference between the minor disruption of hosepipe bans and the misery in   the Horn is down to a failure of politics and leadership. It is no accident   that the communities worst affected by the drought are not just those   blighted by conflict but also by decades of official neglect and contempt   from governments, which see pastoralism as an unwanted relic of the past.

Second, the famine shows the extreme vulnerability of poor people to   weather events like failed rains. Governments and the international community   have to save lives now, but also act to reduce that chronic vulnerability,   building local ability to manage the drought cycle, improving the flow of   data, information and ideas for adapting to climate change, and drastically   increasing long-term investment in smallholder agriculture and pastoralism,   which have shown they can provide a decent life for millions of east   Africans, provided they are supported (rather than ignored) by governments.

Beyond helping east Africa and other vulnerable regions adapt to   impending climate change, it is of course also incumbent on the rich and   emerging economies to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it. Fail to   do that, and all attempts at adaptation are likely to offer only temporary   relief.

• Oxfam last week published   a briefing on   climate change and drought in east Africa

Posted by

Duncan Green   , Monday 8 August 2011 07.00 BST guardian.co.uk

Links to other resources

More from Poverty   matters blog on



Africa’s solution to food insecurity lies in its private sector

Title Africa’s   solution to food insecurity lies in its private sector
Date released (year) 2012
Production company PressTV
Length 2.40mins
Location Ethiopia
Keywords/tags Food security, private sector, corporatisation, neolioberalism
Link to film http://youtu.be/R6tpxEv0jmM
Synopsis A short   news bulletin from PressTV covering an AU conference on African food   security.

It   is estimated that food imports in Africa totalled 50 billion US dollars in   2010 and are projected to exceed 100 billion dollars in the next 10 years.

Source:   http://youtu.be/R6tpxEv0jmM

Reviews/discussion There   are many proponents of the idea that the private sector should play a key   role in African food security issues.  http://www.voanews.com/content/obama_hosts_leaders_for_g8_nato_summit/720889.html


However,   one must question the corporate interests at play here (particularly in   relation to GMOs and petrochemicals) and critique the kind of interventions that   are proposed (Ngwenya).

Links to other resources UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity-building Task Force on   Trade, Environment and Development (2008) ‘Organic   Agriculture and Food Security in Africa’,   http://unctad.org/en/Docs/ditcted200715_en.pdf

Weldeghaber Kidane, Materne Maetz and Philippe Dardel (2006) ‘Food security and agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa: Building a case for more public support’, http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0627e/a0627e00.htm

For a variety of reports that are largely   critical of a neoliberal approach, see:

The Africa Report: http://www.theafricareport.com/food-security.html

Food   Security Portal: http://www.foodsecurityportal.org/category/category/africa

Women   and urban food: www.africaportal.org/articles/2013/03/18/women-and-urban-food-insecurity-southern-africa

The Great African Scandal

Title The Great   African Scandal
Director(s) Robert Beckford
Date released (year) 2008
Production company Channel 4
Length 47 mins
Location Ghana
Keywords/tags Underdevelopment,   aid, international trade, IMF, neoliberalism
Link to film
Synopsis Academic Robert   Beckford visits Ghana to investigate the hidden costs of rice, chocolate and   gold and why, 50 years after independence, a country so rich in natural   resources is one of the poorest in the world. He discovers child labourers   farming cocoa instead of attending school and asks if the activities of   multinationals, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have actually   made the country’s problems worse. (Excerpt   from video.google.com)

In this thought-provoking   documentary, made with the help of Christian Aid, academic Robert Beckford   undertakes a challenging, emotional journey to Ghana in West Africa.
This is where, two centuries ago, Robert Beckford’s ancestors were seized and   taken as slaves to Jamaica. Now he is making a journey to the land of his   roots to discover the hidden costs of rice, chocolate and gold.

Working alongside local   people, Robert struggles to survive on the average wage of 60p a day. He asks   why, 50 years after independence, this country, which is rich in minerals and   is a stable democracy, is still one of the poorest in the world.

He examines the activities of   multinational corporations, as well as the World Bank and the International   Monetary Fund, to find out whether they have actually made countries like   Ghana worse off. And, most importantly, he asks how we, as consumers and citizens,   can make a difference. Source: http://robertbeckford.co.uk/taxonomy/term/2%2B3

Reviews/discussion Interview with   Robert Beckford, Christian Aid Lunchtime Talks:   http://bassflava.com/mp3/An+African+Scandal-song-604626.html

Interesting thread   of comments and responses at: http://afrospear.com/2009/09/26/the-great-african-scandal/

Links to other resources Robert Beckford’s   homepage: http://robertbeckford.co.uk/node/30