10 Most Deadly Famines in Africa

Somalia Famine Deaths

Africa has been ravaged by drought and famine throughout history and as a matter of fact, famine in Africa has become an integral part of everyday living. Starvation in Africa is sometimes a result of conflict between rival nations or brought on by climate causes and more often than not, diplomatic relations and lack of media presence to translate the situation of things to outsiders make them slow to respond until the situation becomes critical. Africa has a comparatively conducive soil and atmosphere that can support a wide range of African foods but a lot of factors ranging from simple food preservation techniques to wars and conflicts work together to bring about deadly periods of starvation in Africa even in the face of seemingly growing economies in certain regions. This article highlights some of the most gruesome famines in Africa.

Most Deadly Periods of Starvation in Africa

10. Somalia Famine (2010-2012)

Credit: AP photo

Credit: AP photo

This is one of the most devastating famines that has ever occurred in Africa, approximately 260,000 people died during the Somalia Famine from 2010-2012. Already desolated by a famine only a decade earlier, almost 5% of Somalia’s population died from famine conditions with over half of the casualties being children under the age of 6. Although signs of the drought were known from 2010, outside nations waited until the famine reached its crisis to intervene. In July of 2011 the United Nations officially declared famine in Somalia. An estimated 4.6 per cent of the total population and 10 per cent of children under five died in southern and central Somalia,” the report said, saying the deaths were on top of 290,000 “baseline” deaths during the period, and double the average for sub-Saharan Africa and according to the United Nations, more than one million Somalis were refugees in surrounding nations, another million displaced inside the country, and around 2.7 million people needed life-saving assistance.

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