Somalia suffers from worst drought in century: Women rush to a feeding centre after the soldiers of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) cannot contain the crowd in Badbado, a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs). Photograph: UN Photo / Stuart Price.
Across the Horn of Africa, people are starving. A catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices and drought has left more than 11 million people in desperate need. The United Nations has been sounding the alert for months. We have resisted using the “f-word” — famine — but on Wednesday we officially recognized the fast-evolving reality. There is famine in parts of Somalia. And it is spreading.
This is a wake-up call we cannot ignore. Everyday, I hear the most harrowing reports from our UN teams on the ground. Somali refugees, their cattle and goats dead from thirst, walking for weeks to find help in Kenya and Ethiopia. Orphans who arrive alone, their parents dead, terrified and malnourished, in a foreign land.