USAID: Famine projected in Somalia if food aid falters

After five seasons without meaningful rainfall in the Horn of Africa, famine is projected in parts of southern Somalia in the spring without reliable food aid, a top USAID official told senators on Wednesday. "Preventing famine and large-scale deaths across the region in the coming year will require sustained and robust humanitarian assistance from the international community," said Sarah Charles, head of USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.

Greatest locust threat in decades in East Africa

Swarms of food-devouring desert locusts threaten food security for nearly 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, said the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group on Monday, describing the infestations as the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and in 70 years in Kenya. The group, which focuses on central and eastern Africa, said the locust upsurge threatens the coming agricultural season.

FAO sees high risk of hunger in eight nations, famine possible in three

In a “global early warning” report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization lists eight nations with a high risk of hunger and says famine is possible in three of them: Yemen, South Sudan, and Somalia.

Hobbled by drought, pastoralists consider putting down roots

Drought in the Horn of Africa has killed the livestock of nomadic herders and forced thousands of pastoralists into refugee camps, dependent on food aid. Authorities in Ethiopia, while dealing with the crisis, are looking into longer-term adaptations, such as introducing irrigated agriculture and small farms in the country's Somali region, "a land long known for just herding animals," says the Washington Post.

A meatpacking town steps up in wake of foiled terror attack

Last fall, the FBI derailed a plot by homegrown extremists to blow up an apartment complex in Garden City, Kan., that housed Somali refugees who had come there to work in the town’s meatpacking plants. In the latest story from FERN, produced in partnership with The New Republic, Ted Genoways tells how the town rallied around its newest residents.

Somalis bring camel meat to the Midwest

In Minnesota, American restaurant-goers are discovering camel meat, a prized food among Somali refugees in the state and an environmental pest in Australia, says Erica Berry in FERN’s latest story with NPR’s The Salt. Traditionally nomadic, the Somali community has relied on camels for milk and …

Famine possible in three East Africa nations; drought is a factor

Drought is depriving millions of Somalis of enough to eat, the nation's president said in an appeal for international aid. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network, created by the USAID, said famine is possible in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, all in East Africa. Armed conflict has aggravated the effects of drought.

Floods follow drought, threaten food crisis in Somalia

Parts of southern Somalia are being hit with floods, "aggravating the already alarming food security situation" cause for a lackluster rainy season, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.