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African Famine Essay

2683 words - 11 pages

The African famine is a world event that has been reoccurring throughout the history of Africa. The famine is caused by things such as war, drought, global warming and corrupt leaders. Recently the causes of famine have shifted with the outbreak HIV virus. With HIV killing thousands of famers each year it is affecting the output of valuable food making famine get worse. Corrupt government is the main cause of the famine in Africa because of their poor spending of the relief money, lack of support for healthcare and education has only contributed to the spread of disease and hunger. With of the help of the entire international system there is still hope Africa can become a healthy and self ...view middle of the document...

These are the crops that normally keep Africa in a food crisis and not a famine, but not this year. The farm workers do not have the education needed to maintain crops in the new dryer weather. Even with the aid from American workers teaching the natives how to farm through a drought more help is desperately needed. The farm workers do not have the education needed to maintain crops in nontraditional weather. The drought has hit Somalia the hardest causing people to become so desperate they will do anything for survival. ” In Somalia some 1.7 million people are in need of food aid. Some people are dying and children are drinking their own urine because there is simply no water for them to drink. Families were surviving on one twentieth of the daily water supply recommended by minimum humanitarian standards, equivalent to 830 ml, or three glasses, of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and washing,”(Smith)
Africa houses about 70 percent of all people infected with AIDS. This could quite possibly be the single most devastating cause of the famine in Africa. “Within the United Nations that new definition is known as ‘new variant famine.’ It means that despite the best efforts of aid groups and donors, population losses to AIDS are wrecking agriculture, economies and health systems.” (Chan) With the adults being the head of the house hold falling sick and becoming unable to work, the family goes hungry. This does not only affect the family but rather the whole economy without men and women tending to the crops they wither and die thus causing more problems. With most of these families living on less than a dollar a day missing work can devastate a family already in poverty with just one day of missed work. Poverty by definition is the lack of money for material things; extreme poverty is the lack of money to afford necessary things such as food.
Looking at Ethiopia’s past government many would point fingers at Mengistu Haile Mariam for the majority of the problems in Ethiopia that have contributed to the Famine. Mariam was Ethiopia’s Hitler by ruling with a totalitarian style of leadership. Under a totalitarian rule one organization or person has sole power of every aspect of the country with no checks and balances which is seen in a democracy. Under his rule thousands of Ethiopian’s suddenly disappeared and were never seen again or killed. Mengistu spend his time as head of the state building up Ethiopia’s military and forming the Derg. The Derg is a Marxism style terror group responsible for the “red terror” and the deaths of over 10,000 people. (Trial Watch) Since the Derg represented all forms of military and police they could mobilize units without consent from any government official giving them total power.
South Africa president Thabo Mbeki is another political leader to look at. South Africa is home to one of the highest HIV populated countries. In 2008 alone it was estimated that 5.2 million people living in...

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