Thursday, April 21, 2016


Just as they do in in Syria, catastrophic ecological shifts underpin the long-running political trauma in Somalia.

Westerners may be used to filing news from Somalia under such headings as "failed state" and "religious conflict," but these simplistic tags don't come close to telling the whole story, and they certainly don't give us the information that is most relevant to Somalis at the moment: The country is on the brink of yet another major famine. The last one, in 2011, took the lives of a quarter of a million people.

Facing a surrealistic combination of severe drought in the north and relentless rains in the Middle Shabelle Region that brought flooding and crop failures, Somalia is in trouble again. The country faces a daunting humanitarian crisis, barely four years after the establishment of its first convincing attempt at a centralized government since the early Nineties.

Those of us who live (and eat) far away from places like Somalia tend to talk with intensity about how much we dislike religious extremism. Yet we often pass by opportunities to support the people who are most vulnerable to the cycle of poverty and desperation where it thrives. Somalia is a prime example. Having only recently yielded its #1 ranking on the UN's Fragile States Index to South Sudan, Somalia is in a vulnerable position. It is headed in the right direction … but it needs more help than it's getting.

The group Concern Worldwide is doing great work in Somalia, targeting specific communities in need and ensuring that 88%+ of its budget is devoted to relief and development. If we can afford to give them even a little cash, in the hopes of keeping hope alive in Somalia, I think we should.

We can do so by clicking here.

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