Saturday, August 20, 2011

Guardian Focus podcast: famine in Somalia

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The Horn of Africa is experiencing a food crisis and the UN has declared famine in parts of Somalia. What does the relief effort look like? And what comes next?

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According to the UN, Somalia faces the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today and the worst food security crisis in Africa since the early 1990s. After the worst drought in 60 years, an estimated 12.4 million people across the Horn of Africa are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

But this crisis was largely foreseen. Why didn't early warning translate into early action? What does the humanitarian response look like? And what comes next?

In this month's global development podcast we look at the unfolding crisis in the Horn and focus in on Somalia, where conflict and political instability pose steep challenges for short-term relief and long-term development.

To discuss these issues, Madeleine Bunting is joined in the studio bySamir Elhawary, research fellow in the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute, David Bull, chief executive of Unicef UK, and Jamal Osman, an independent journalist who came to the UK from Somalia in 1999 and has been going back and forth ever since.

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