Somalia in Poverty
IFAD alias The International Fund for Agricultural Development is a specialized agency of the United Nations that assists the impoverished people in Somalia fight hunger and poverty. The article I have chosen for my essay has been published in IFAD website. The author name and the year of its publication are not disclosed. The article is titled as Rural Poverty in Somalia. As the title implies, the article underscores the increase of poverty in Somalia since the early 1990s after the deposition of the government and the outset of a violent civil war. More than half of the population in rural areas of Somalia dwells in severe poverty. Somalia has a number of factors impeding its growth, "civil conflict, the lack of a fully functioning central government, and natural calamities"(IFAD) to name a few. The article discusses in depth identifying the reasons for the raging poverty and how the chaos of the ongoing civil war and disorderly state of laws have worsened the condition. The main points outlined in the article highlight the areas in which the concentration of poverty is pronounced and the reasons for the people of this region to be poor with further details provided on the aggravation of poverty by the continuous civil movement and lawlessness.
The regions including Somaliland in the north-west and Puntland in the north-east of Somalia that have acquired independence are in relatively stable position than others. With civil movement raging the southern part of Somalia for over 15 years, this part of the country is in the most suffering as regards provisions for food, security and infrastructure. Specifically marginalized indigenous and ethnic minority group are in pretty bad shape with many having been ousted from their heritage lands. Most of the women in Somalia are illiterate, have insufficient access to healthcare services. FGM is a common practice in Somalia which has the highest female mortality rate during pregnancy and child birth. (IFAD)
Somalia relies fully on agriculture for its economy. Agricultural production is vulnerable to climate vagaries, including occasional drought and flood. In 2006 southern and central part of Somalia suffered a lot due to the flooding. Furthermore, more than 60% of the population in Somalia depending on livestock for livelihood incurs huge losses due to no disease control strategy being in place. Due to huge animal stocks, the grazing land suffers deterioration ending in strife over land rights. The lack of adequate resources has led conflicts over land and water. Qat addition also has taken a toll on people addicted to chewing qats, resulting in reduction of productivity and apathy for work. (IFAD)
Over 15 years of anarchy created by the absence of an effective government and the rampage of ongoing civil movement has wreaked havoc in Somalia with marginalized section losing their lands and assets to strongest people. Famine and disease have claimed millions of lives. Extensive damaging state of roads and infrastructure hinder the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Absence of laws and regulation has raised random illegal practices that are causing irreversible environmental degradation. (IFAD)
Reading the article has been a learned experience in knowing things I was hitherto unaware of, like the devastating inhumane state of the Somalis, the daily struggle of their life and their vulnerability in the face of anarchy. The article has, however, not mentioned a single thing that is to be done for eradicating poverty, the measures to be taken to give alternative livelihood options to these people, how education and healthcare service in the areas can be improved, how the country could be developed. The article simply addressed the problem without touching upon the solution, which, I think, is the greatest weakness of this article. The strength is the information provided as regards the situation of Somalia.
In conclusion, the article I retrieved from IFAD webpage has cast light on the current impoverished state of Somalia, identifying natural catastrophes, ongoing civil movement and the absence of an effective government as main reasons behind the poverty. However, this article lacks in the information about measures to be taken to uproot poverty and how the current situation there can be improved.
"Rural poverty in Somalia." IFAD. Web. 19th April. 2013.