Daily VideoJuly 25, 2011
Food Crisis Overwhelms Somalia
A food crisis is currently overwhelming Somalia, a country that has struggled for survival for decades. Lines of starving Somalis, many carrying severely malnourished children, are making their way to refugee camps in hopes of finding help.
An ongoing civil war in Somalia between Islamist militants and government forces complicates the journey Somalis must make to find food. Often, they risk being caught in the crossfire between troops as they trek to the refugee camps, which are their last hope.
Human rights workers must dress in bullet-proof gear to get to the people they hope to help, many of whom are behind battle lines and are hard to reach. According to people fleeing the famine, Islamist fighters tried to stop them as they made their way to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for food. Time is often essential for refugees seeking food, since many children are so malnourished that they can die in a matter of days or hours without help.
“We’re hopeful that we can push further into southern Somalia in the coming days and weeks. We have to try. We can’t not try. It’s just too serious.” – Rozanne Chorlton, UNICEF
Warm Up Questions
1. What part of the world is Somalia in?
2. What is a famine?
3. What factors can contribute to mass hunger?
1. Why do you think Islamist fighters would want to stop Somalis from reaching aid camps?
2. Based on what you saw in the video, what obstacles are in the way of aid workers trying to get food to starving Somalis? How do you think those obstacles could be overcome?
3. What is “food insecurity?” What factors contribute to it?
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