#GROW Week day six: the famine in Somalia three months on

Three months to the day since the announcement of famine in Somalia, the situation in the country remains severe. 

Malnutrition rates among children in Somalia are the worst in the world. There are now 1.5 million Somalis – one in six of the population – who have been displaced and the upcoming rainy season brings the threat of outbreaks of disease among communities already weakened by malnutrition.

Tens of thousands are reported to have already died – more than half of them children. The new escalation in fighting and insecurity along the Kenya-Somalia border risks increasing the suffering for civilians already devastated by drought and conflict. Food prices have rocketed.

Drought and famine are just part of the reason some people do not have enough to eat. There are a whole host of interlinked factors. The global food system is bust. There is a prediction that staple grain prices will rise by 120-180% in the next 2 decades. The price of Sorghum, a major food source in Somalia, has soared by 240% in just 1 year. It's time to fix this. 

Read: Somalia three months on

Watch: Three months on video

Making this the world's last famine: Charter to End Hunger

As news of the escalating food crisis in the Horn of Africa started to hit the international media earlier this year, the same question must have been in many people’s minds: how could this have happened again? Oxfam Rights in Crisis Campaigner Celine Grey blogs about the Charter to End Hunger.

Read: "Making This The World's Last Famine"

Africans Act for Africa

Africans Act for Africa (AA4A) was formed in August 2011 to urge African governments to act in response to the East Africa food crisis by lending immediate financial support to ongoing relief efforts. AA4A want the African Union to demonstrate a long term plan to end hunger.

Read: Because No-one Should Die From Hunger 

Watch: AA4A in Kenya and Tanzania on YouTube

GROW launches in Sri Lanka

The GROW campaign was launched in Sri Lanka on October 18 in Colombo in an event titled “Global Food Crisis: Opportunities and Challenges”. In Sri Lanka around four million people are undernourished. Expectant mothers and children are the most affected by malnutrition. Almost one in five children in Sri Lanka has a low birth weight and around 500,000 children are reported to be underweight. Global food price increase and extreme weath events are already having an impact on vulnerable communities in the country.

Read: GROW launch in Sri Lanka

Food price volatility stunt at FAO HQ in Rome

Oxfam activists descended on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters yesterday (October 19) to ask delegates at the CFS (Committee on World Food Security) to act on food price volatility, a phenomenon which in 2010 alone pushed 44 million people into poverty.

Volunteers dressed up as farmers and posed for press photographers armed with rice and wheat to show symbolically how food price volatility affects how much basic food people can afford.

See: Photos from the stunt in Rome

Duncan Green live Facebook Q&A about GROW 1-2pm BST tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday October 21) at 1pm UK time (12 GMT) for one hour, Head of Research at Oxfam Duncan Green will be online to answer your questions about the GROW campaign. You can ask him about any of the GROW issues, including land grabs and land rights, climate change, rising food prices, hunger, poverty, small scale farmers, investment and agriculture.

Can't make the lunchtime date? Not a problem. Leave a question on the GROW Facebook wall and we will do our best to get it answered. You can find a list of questions here to give you some food for thought. 

Visit GROW on Facebook at 1pm BST tomorrow: www.facebook.com/GROWgarden

Read: From Poverty to Power: Small Farms Can Be Beautiful

Coming up: Land grabs action and more GROW campaign launches from around the world 

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