News / Africa

More Than Natural Factors Contributed to Famine, says Somali Activist

Dr. Sadia Ali Aden lays responsibility on region’s governments

Ashenafi Abedje

A combination of factors are to blame for the famine in Somalia, says Dr. Sadia Ali Aden, a Somali-born physician who is also a human rights activist and fundraiser. She says natural and external factors are only partial contributors to the tragedy.

Other equally important factors, she says,  are “Al-Shabab’s strict conditions for food aid delivery the incompetence [of Somala’s] Transitional Federal Government and lack of resources to help the affected population, and international community inaction in the face of a deteriorating situation.”

Aden is actively involved in local fundraising efforts to help famine victims in her home country.  She says the famine has helped create a common purpose among Somalis around the world.

“The Somali Diaspora members have been reaching out to all those who could help alleviate this human tragedy,” Aden says.  “There are number of Somali organizations registered here in the U.S. that are effective and providing humanitarian service.”

Women and children queue to receive food at a World Food Program distribution center in Mogadishu.
Women and children queue to receive food at a World Food Program distribution center in Mogadishu.

The Somali activist says by and large, these organizations have proven more effective than their “much larger, much costly international counterparts.”

On the question of international assistance, Aden says while Somalis are grateful to the U.N. for alerting donor nations on the “urgency of this matter,” she wishes the appeal was made much earlier.

“If these alarm bells were sounded two years ago,” the activist says, “many lives could have been saved.”  She says letting the human tragedy go unattended until now is a “moral disgrace.”

Aden criticizes governments in the region for failing to pursue policies that help prevent famine. She says for most of these governments, their main focus is amassing weapons and staying in power.

“The majority of these (governments) are dictatorships which are really concerned about defeating the enemy on the other side and much less on alleviating the suffering of the oppressed, the hungry and the sick,” she says.

The human rights activist said the 2006 Ethiopian invasion of Somalia merely prolonged the misery of the Somali people.

“Left alone,” she says, “the Islamic Courts [government] brought six months of peace, and could have been used as a model to build on because that was the first time Somalis saw a semblance of peace in fifteen years.”

Aden says the governments in the region need to spend more time on caring for the people “instead of worrying about how to stay in power and sustain what they have.”

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid