Famine in Somalia

With five regions in Somalia already declared famine zones, the the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported on Aug. 3 that famine is likely to spread across all regions of Somalia’s south and that famine conditions may persist until December. Potentially more than 11 million people in the region could be affected by the famine, brought on by escalating food costs and the worst drought in half a century. More than 3.2 million are in need of immediate, life-saving assistance. According to the Jesuit Refugee Service, the current crisis is the consequence of the extreme drought and other overlapping problems, including the lack of a functioning central government in Somalia and the inability of aid agencies to gain access to south central Somalia, which is controlled by the al-Shabab militant group. In Ethiopia, a humanitarian effort led by Catholic Relief Services is ramping up; now feeding 400,000 people, it should reach one million later this month.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis waves during a visit to give an Easter blessing to homes in a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea, May 19 (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano).
Vatican leaders seem quietly confident that the meeting will go well.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 22, 2017
Given the number of those in the California legal system today who are Latino, “you can guess a large percentage of them are Catholic.”
Jim McDermottMay 22, 2017
Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M., prays on Nov. 16 during the opening of the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
The bishops' spring assembly will include discussions ranging from immigration to religious freedom, as well as the Synod of Bishops on youth.
The new cardinals named by Pope Francis come from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, Spain and Sweden.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 21, 2017