The Nonsense of "Infadel Food" and Starvation in Somalia
The nonsense of "Infadel Food" is turning starvation in Somalia into a disaster of epic proportions. Donations that are made by hundreds of thousands, including Somali Muslims, are not relieving the starvation in that country and corruption is clearly to blame for the continued humanitarian crisis.
- Somalia and Starvation
- It is Easy to Dictate from On High
- Do I Speak from Experience?
- Corruption the Major Concern
Somalia and Starvation
A recent headline caught this writer's eye and then gave room for thought. There can be no-one in this world who is unaware of the devastating suffering that is happening in Somalia at this time. Probably the majority of us wish that we could do more to help, but at the same time know that our own family situations are fragile given the current economic climate.
Apparently reactionary Islamic militants are telling farmers to "depend on god" instead of accepting aid from foreign "infidels".
This crisis is perhaps the worst such reports seen in this writers lifetime and millions are on the bring of death. Whatever your beliefs or religious background it is the people of the world that step up and try to do the best they can to help. Many of those donating cents, pennies, dollars, euros, or pounds will actually be Muslims doing their best to support the fellow believers.
It is Easy to Dictate from On High
The people insisting that farmers "depend on god' are never likely to face personal starvation, so they are dictating from on high. They have no understanding of what it is like for those that are suffering. According to the United Nations over 29,000 children have already perished in the country and 2.8 million are at immediate risk if they do not receive food very soon. Perhaps the only thing that those who are donating a small amount of their earnings for relief are thinking is about a desire to help alleviate their fellow human being from suffering.
As is typical with other poverty crises in Africa governmental soldiers are stealing supplies and ordering relief agencies to stop delivering food. Farmers are losing their livestock through starvation and the local Al-Shabab insurgents refuse to let aid through to those that desperately need it. Saying that they do not want to "distribute food of disbelievers".
When millions are starving, food is food, and has nothing to do with religion. To a starving man the Koran has little meaning anymore; survival is all that matters.
Do I Speak from Experience?
Happily this writer has never experienced what it is like to be starving or on the verge of death. Yet having an African connection, with a wife that was born in Kenya, does make this situation all the more poignant and close (geographically) to her family.
This writer has suffered during the course of the recession and four years ago would have definitely been one to dictate on high, but since that time has learnt to eat a little 'humble pie', even if never reaching the edge of starvation. This may be a long way separated from those suffering in Somalia, and especially those in Mogadishu, but it does make a person think twice.
Yet it is also accepted that none of this makes this writer an expert, yet none of us wishes to be that kind of expert on starvation and death. We all have a right to bring out our feelings on the situation, which is the basis of this article.
Corruption the Major Concern
Corrupt regimes and officials remain a great problem here. The problem - food is channeled off to those who are not in desperate need and used for profiteering. Until this corruption is stopped then hunger will continue to be a problem in the nation and sadly international aid does not resolve this specific problem.
Sadly corruption is rampant in the African continent, where it has been known for a murderer to walk free, simply because he could afford to bribe the police. Somalia is not the first African nation where distribution of food aid has come up against corrupt officials at national and local levels. It has been estimated that for every dollar of food aid donated for African crises over the last half century less than 30 cents of food gets to those in desperate need.