Somalia's not so natural disaster
Politics As Usual | Simon Black | More from this author
I’m a little sick of the mainstream media referring to Somalia’s famine as a “natural disaster”. The desperate situation in the Horn of Africa must be understood within the context of what Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney called capitalism’s underdevelopment of Africa. Only when we account for continued US imperialist intervention, fuelling numerous wars in the region, the perverse rise in food prices (300% over the last few years) caused partially by big agribusiness and other moneyed interests speculating on food commodities on the world’s stock markets, can we start talking about the drought affecting Somali crops (even then, some argue drought is the result of man-made climate change and therefore not ‘natural’ either).
3.7 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
8 million in need of food assistance in surrounding countries.
What to do? If you haven't already done so, contact your local MP and demand the Canadian government immediately increase aid to the region. The UN estimates that 1.6 billion is needed to address the crisis but governments have pledged only half of that.