Somalia is a region of Africa that is currently suffering from a very impactful drought. As stated in a video from this week’s materials, it is believed that 29,000 children under the age of 5 have died in only the last ninety days as a result of this drought. There are a number of factors that play a role in this health issue. I believe that the impoverished state of the area plays the biggest role. Personally, I also feel that the social status and the viewpoint that we have here of Africa plays a role in the famine as well. Our TV commercials are filled with ads trying to get donations toward helping the hungry in Africa. I feel that as a society it may be easy for us to disregard/not think about the horrible reality going on over there, as well as take for granted what we have here that they don’t. We even have sort of “jokes” such as “there are kids starving/thirsty in Africa” when we talk in terms of wasting food/water. A factor discussed in the video is that of U.S. policy. The video gives information about U.S. “pre-famine” systems in which those that were approaching could be seen and action could be taken to prevent them. Professor David Himmelgreen tells that although these systems were in effect, their lack of prevention could be attributed to politics. Politics plays a big role in the famine in Somalia. Another part of the video talked about a gunfight that broke out upon the delivery of food from the United Nations, resulting in more deaths. This is ironic and counter-active because while the purpose of the food shipment is to attempt to save lives, lives are being lost as a result. Professor Himmelgreen is an anthropologist that works for the University of South Florida. He conducts research in Africa studying the hunger health issue.
“29,000 children dead from famine in Somalia,” last modified August 6, 2011, http://www.wtsp.com/news/national/article/204731/81/29000-children-dead-from-famine-in-Somalia.