Famine history and 2011 Somalia Crisis


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vermont Giving Circle Presentation on famine and the work being done by Oxfam in Somalia

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Famine history and 2011 Somalia Crisis

  1. 1. <ul><li>The Historic Causes and </li></ul><ul><li>The Crisis in Somalia </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Definition of Famine </li></ul><ul><li>Colonialism’s role in Famine </li></ul><ul><li>The Legacy of Colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>Taxation as a weapon </li></ul><ul><li>In the footsteps of Colonialism – Agra-Business </li></ul><ul><li>Causes of Famine in Somalia in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Government instability and El Shebaab </li></ul><ul><li>Drought </li></ul><ul><li>What needs to be done </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Oxfam </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Let’s start by listening to the radio broadcast defining “Famine”: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.theworld.org/2011/07/what-makes-this-a-famine / </li></ul><ul><li>The UN uses a five-step scale, developed with NGOs including Oxfam, to assess a country’s food security. “famine/humanitarian catastrophe” – requires that: </li></ul><ul><li>more than two people per 10,000 die each day, </li></ul><ul><li>acute malnutrition rates are above 30 percent, </li></ul><ul><li>all livestock is dead, </li></ul><ul><li>there is less than 2,100 kilocalories of food </li></ul><ul><li>4 liters of water available per person per day </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Demand for Raw Materials.  , in the 19th century , </li></ul><ul><li>Europe’s industrial revolution, requires human resources, capital resources, and natural resources. </li></ul><ul><li>There was no shortage of labor in Europe. Two centuries of trade with Asia, the Americas, and Africa (including the Atlantic Slave Trade) had brought great profits to European traders. These profits provided the capital necessary to finance the industrial revolution. BUT, most of Europe was resource poor . industries were dependent on raw materials from Asia, the Americas, and Africa.   </li></ul><ul><li>As industrialization grew and spread throughout Europe, competition for raw materials increased. Consequently, some European industrialists encouraged their governments to colonize African countries as a method of guaranteeing sources of raw materials. </li></ul>
  5. 7. <ul><li>With the arrival of colonial powers – (where people are controlling countries from outside the local society) – there is a shift from a position of a country and its land serving the needs of its own people to a country and lands serving the needs of a different country! </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture thereby becomes a means to Extract Wealth not a source of fool locals. </li></ul><ul><li>There is shift to CASH CROPS – no longer a focus on rotation, diversity and growing staple foods. Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Gambia – goes from Rice to Peanuts for Europe (famine later hits and they have to Import rice to feed their people) </li></ul><ul><li>Ghana – goes from Yams to Cocoa for export </li></ul><ul><li>Liberia – becomes a virtual plantation subsidiary to Firestone Rubber and Tires </li></ul><ul><li>Tanzania – becomes dominated by sisal </li></ul><ul><li>Uganda – becomes a land of cotton… </li></ul><ul><li>All these crops are grown for export – to produce cash – not to produce food . </li></ul>
  6. 9. <ul><li>Prior to Colonialism peasants grew their food and grew plants that were native to their country and could be supported by their soil, water supply and weather. </li></ul><ul><li>There may be some fictional views that the local people were too primitive to provide for themselves – this is documented over and over a untrue. For example - </li></ul><ul><li>A.J. Voekler a British agricultural scientist assigned to India in 1890’s wrote; </li></ul><ul><li>Nowhere would one find better instances of keeping land scrupulously clean from weeds , of ingenuity in deriving of water-raising appliances, of knowledge of soils and their capacities, as well as the exact time to sow and reap, as one would find in Indian agriculture. It is wonderful too how much is know of rotation, the system of “mixed crops” and of fallowing …. I at least have never seen a more perfect picture of cultivation.” </li></ul><ul><li>I think this is important for our understanding that it is (and was) not ignorance or primate skills that leads to the current defenselessness again famine today. </li></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>How Did Colonialist get local to cooperate?? </li></ul><ul><li>Local people were FORCED to change over to cash crops. T hey resisted at first, knowing that they NEEDED their food crops – here is how they were forced </li></ul><ul><li>In some cases by violent means but far more wide spread by TAXATION </li></ul><ul><li>The colonial governments levied taxes on cattle, land, houses and people – this meant farmers need COIN so they had to grow CASH crops to sell OR they had to go work for wages on plantation – this is HUGE shift!!! </li></ul><ul><li>So taxes stimulated cash cropping and become a source of cash itself! </li></ul><ul><li>Example – in 1830 The Dutch Government in Java ruled that farms must grow government owned export crops on 1/5 th of their land and then the Dutch would remit their land taxes – if the refused – they could not assess cash to pay the taxes and they would lose their land! </li></ul><ul><li>Example in 1930 – “marketing Boards” are created in Africa which moves the profit from the natives for cash crops to Colonial Governments and international corporations . The Marketing Boards buy the goods at fixed prices from the local farmers and sell them for 7 times the amount in Britain for example. Keeps the cash to the farms low and the profits in the hands of the foreigners! </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation system are created to force water to produce spring cash crops at the expense of fall legumes and basic foods. </li></ul><ul><li>All this underlines that: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Famine is a societal fact not a natural fact”…. </li></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>The result is a gigantic shift from growing food and growing indigenous plants that can be rotated and not deplete soil to mono-agriculture where for example cotton is grown over and over until the land is stripped and then the land is so cheap that they just leave that land and buy new land… the country is left with waste lands. </li></ul>
  9. 12. <ul><li>Out of the foundations of the colonial development of Cash Crops grown in developing nations with cheap labor has grown the current structure of Agribusiness. </li></ul><ul><li>American companies for example, grow more and more of their crops in developing nations. </li></ul><ul><li>The same principals apply - they grow crops for EXPORT to wealthy countries, they buy up local farm land, and that land no longer supplies local food. That land eventually gets destroyed by over planting. </li></ul><ul><li>This video (14 minutes) though quite dated shows how this reality is playing out in developing nations: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=733owHYcMf0 </li></ul>
  10. 13. <ul><li>In learning about this history of abusive use of land and people in developing nations it becomes clear how the people of these countries are starting out vulnerable. </li></ul><ul><li>IF any government is instable or a natural disaster strikes…. </li></ul>
  11. 14. <ul><li>Colonialism in Somalia overview; </li></ul><ul><li>1860- France, 1897 – Britain, 1888 - Anglo-French, 1889- Italy, </li></ul><ul><li>1956 – Independence is declared (but still British protectorate) </li></ul><ul><li>1960 – first elected president </li></ul><ul><li>1969 - coup – Mohamed Siad Barre assumes power (President assassinated) </li></ul><ul><li>1970 – Barre declares Somalia socialist state and nationalizes most of country </li></ul><ul><li>1974-75 – severe drought – widespread starvation </li></ul><ul><li>1977- Somalia invades Somali-inhabited Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>1988 Peace accord with Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>1991 – Barre ousted Power struggle between warlords Mohamed Frah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed – kills or wounds thousands of civilians 1991- Solaliland declares unilateral independence from Britain </li></ul><ul><li>1992 – US marines land near Mogadishu ahead of UN peacekeeping force sent to restore order and safeguard relief supplies </li></ul><ul><li>1993  - US Army Rangers are killed when Somali militias shoot down two US helicopters in Mogadishu and a battle ensues. Hundreds of Somalis die in the battle depicted in the film &quot;Black Hawk Down&quot;. US mission formally ends in March 1994 . </li></ul><ul><li>1995  - UN peacekeepers leave, having failed to achieve their mission. </li></ul><ul><li>1996  August - Warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed dies of his wounds and is succeeded by his son, Hussein. </li></ul>
  12. 15. Ongoing history of instability <ul><li>2001 UN appeals for food aid for half a million people in the drought-hit south . </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>2004  December - Tsunami waves generated by an undersea earthquake off Indonesia hit the Somali coast and the island of Hafun. Hundreds of deaths are reported; tens of thousands of people are displaced . </li></ul><ul><li>2006  - Scores of people are killed and hundreds are injured during fierce fighting between rival militias in Mogadishu. It is the worst violence in almost a decade. year of on-going Islamic extremists create ongoing instability </li></ul><ul><li>2007 March - African Union peacekeepers land at Mogadishu amid pitched battles between insurgents and government forces backed by Ethiopian troops. The Red Cross says it is the worst fighting in 15 years . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HUMANITARIAN CRISIS GROWS - UN SAYS MORE THAN 320,000 SOMALIS HAVE FLED FIGHTING IN MOGADISHU SINCE FEBRUARY. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE REPORTED KILLED AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF FIERCE CLASHES IN THE CAPITAL. 2007 THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME SAYS A RESURGENCE OF PIRACY IS THREATENING FOOD SUPPLIES. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH ACCUSES SOMALI INSURGENT FORCES OF WAR CRIMES, AND THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL OF INDIFFERENCE DURING THE RECENT CONFLICT. PRIME MINISTER GHEDI RESIGNS. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AID AGENCIES WARN A CATASTROPHE IS UNFOLDING IN SOMALIA. 2008 SEPTEMBER - SOMALI PIRATES' HIJACKING </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AL-SHABAB ADVANCES 2009 JANUARY- 2009 MAY - ISLAMIST INSURGENTS attach in MOGADISHU. SOMALIA'S SECURITY MINISTER AND MORE THAN 20 OTHER PEOPLE ARE KILLED IN A SUICIDE BOMBING </li></ul><ul><li>PRESIDENT AHMED DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY AS VIOLENCE INTENSIFIES. SOMALI OFFICIALS APPEAL TO NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES TO SEND TROOPS TO SOMALIA, AS GOVERNMENT FORCES CONTINUE TO BATTLE ISLAMIST INSURGENTS. </li></ul><ul><li>2009 SEPTEMBER - AL-SHABAB PROCLAIMS ALLEGIANCE TO AL-QAEDA LEADER OSAMA BIN LADEN. AID WORKERS THREATENED 2010 JANUARY - UN'S WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP) WITHDRAWS FROM AL-SHABAB-CONTROLLED AREAS AFTER THREATS TO LIVES OF ITS STAFF . </li></ul><ul><li>2011 APRIL - AID AGENCIES SOUND ALARM AFTER RAINS FAIL FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING, LEADING TO COMPLETE CROP FAILURE IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA AND RISING LEVELS OF MALNUTRITION. </li></ul><ul><li>2011 JULY - UN FORMALLY DECLARES FAMINE IN TWO REGIONS OF SOUTHERN SOMALIA. AID AGENCIES WARN THAT MILLIONS FACE STARVATION, AFTER DROUGHT, CONFLICT AND POVERTY COMBINE TO PRODUCE THE NECESSARY CONDITIONS FOR FAMINE. </li></ul>
  13. 16. <ul><li>Causes of Famine in Somalia today </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43841708/ns/nightly_news/t/famine-horn-africa-how-help/#.TnOgxezDOuI </li></ul><ul><li>So we see that famine is triggered by drought — the worst in 60 years — but even more by the violence and isolation casued by of the fundamentalist Muslim militia, known as the El Shabab, that rules part of Somalia. The area where large numbers of people are dying almost perfectly overlays the regions where the El Shabab is in control. </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbors with the same drought- Kenyans and Ethiopians with stronger central governments have planted drought-resistant crops, built water projects and diversified their livelihoods, so this drought has affected them less than it would have in the past. An early-warning system gave a year’s notice that a famine was on the way, and aid agencies moved in supplies. None of this was possible in Somalia/ </li></ul><ul><li>In Somalia, El Shabab has even attacked and threatened aid workers and has blocked most food shipments. It also tries to block Somalis from fleeing to get food elsewhere. They are using famine as a weapon. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,1104881295001_2088119,00.html </li></ul>
  14. 18. <ul><li>This video shows a map of the region where drought has hit and describes the weak central gov’t can’t support </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14147721 </li></ul>
  15. 19. Taking Action Long Term and Short Term Solutions <ul><li>What needs to be done? </li></ul><ul><li>The 21st Century is the first time in human history that we have the capacity to eradicate famine. To do so, we must address the underlying problems: </li></ul><ul><li>Production solutions : We must accelerate investment in African food production . We need more support for small-holder farmers and pastoralists (e.g. hardier crops, cheaper inputs, disaster risk management). </li></ul><ul><li>Access solutions : We must alleviate rural African poverty . More aid and budgetary investment into physical infrastructure (roads, communications etc) and allowing public intervention to correct market failures until markets are stronger (e.g. grain reserves to stop price volatility). </li></ul><ul><li>Response solutions : We need to move away from discretionary assistance to guaranteed social protection e.g. such as social assistance to the poor households to access food throughout the year and insurances, so that support can be triggered automatically in times of crisis.. </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency aid is vital right now , but we also need to ask why this has happened, and how we can stop it ever happening again. The warning signs have been seen for years, and the world has been slow to act. Much greater long-term investment is needed in food production and basic development to help people cope with poor rains and ensure that this is the last famine in the region. </li></ul>
  16. 20. <ul><li>Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working together in 98 countries and with partners and allies around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. </li></ul><ul><li>Our vision: A just world without poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Our mission: To create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice. </li></ul><ul><li>We work directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them. </li></ul><ul><li>We work with others to end poverty and injustice , from campaigning to responding to emergencies. </li></ul><ul><li>We believe that respect for human rights will help lift people out of poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Aiming to reach 3.5 million people in East Africa </li></ul>
  17. 21. What donations buy through Oxfam response to the Crisis in Somalia <ul><li>We urgently need funds to help people suffering from the drought in East Africa: </li></ul><ul><li>$50 can provide 200 people a day's supply of clean water </li></ul><ul><li>$100 can feed a family of six for two+ weeks </li></ul><ul><li>$175 can help dig a well that can provide drinking water and an irrigation source for years to come </li></ul><ul><li>What donations buy through Oxfam response to the Crisis in Somalia </li></ul>
  18. 22. Somali refugees in the Debaab camp in Kenya <ul><li>BBC video from Debaab camp </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14102052 </li></ul><ul><li>Video showing Oxfam relief work in Debaab </li></ul><ul><li>http://vimeo.com/28190682 </li></ul>htp
  19. 23. <ul><li>http://www.oxfamamerica.org/whoweare/financial-information </li></ul>
  20. 24. <ul><li>For complete financial data for 2010, download our 2010 Annual Report . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>