Women Raped as the Food Crisis Expands in East Africa


Violence against women is on the rise as the food crisis continues in the Horn of Africa.  As they flee to refugee camps with their children, women are vulnerable to robbery or sexual assault.  When they reach the camps, the threat of violence is still severe.  According to a UNHCR report, sexual and gender-based violence has quadrupled in several camps over the past six months.

“Women have told me about being raped on the way to the refugee camp,” said Alexandra Lopoukhine of CARE Canada.  ”We’re noticing a lot of trauma among the refugee population.”

The surge in violence continues even as the world attempts to bring aid to drought-stricken Somalia.  The UN declared famine conditions in two areas of Somalia last week, but the funding for aid just doesn’t seem to be there.  Oxfam estimated that $1 billion is needed to deal with the crisis, and castigated the international community for failing to step up.

The process of getting food into the country is highly fraught.  Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has warned that 3.5 million people may starve, but the Islamist militant group which controls large segments of Somalia is making it difficult for the UN to administer aid.  Al-Shabaab, the militant group, has banned the UN’s World Food Program from its areas, so people are fleeing into the capital, where a weak African Union-backed government controls some neighborhoods.

The crisis is growing in Somalia.  And it will continue to grow unless the international community steps up.  Although the total amount of money needed to lift Somalia out of its dire conditions is vast, the WFP has information about how you can do your part.  Follow this link to learn more about how you can save lives in drought-stricken East Africa.

Related Stories:

UN Declares Famine in Somalia: Why Isn’t the US Helping?

Actress Kristin Davis Breaks Down Over Conditions in Somalia

Thousands of Children Die as They Flee Somalia’s Drought

Photo from expertinfantry via flickr

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Janine H.
Janine H.4 years ago

very sad... Europe, USA, etc always have so much food, and so much which is thrown away every day. And other countries have famines, wars, catastrophes,... they would be happy if "we" could give them the overabundance.

And it is too terrible when women and children have to pay a price because of egoistic goals... have "survived" this as a child, too, but inside i have been killed... so i have an idea how they feel.

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Seledi M.
Seledi M.4 years ago

my heart goes out to them all

Velmapearl Hawkins
Velma Hawkins4 years ago

Seems it's the women and children who suffer first, who suffer worst.

linda b.
linda b.4 years ago

Rape is the most personal violation and such a henious crime, i'd castrate all rapists and put them in jail for life.It's sickening and disgusting that these women are being brutalised when at there most vulnerable. God help them.

Emily Drew
Emily Drew4 years ago

So sad. And really angering when you go to the store and see some bratty kid throwing a tantrum because their mom won't let them get oreo cookies. But of course the mom eventially gives in and doesn't teach their kid that they need to be thankful that they are able to eat fruits and veggies. America really needs to get itself on track.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

This is horrible and exactly the same thing that was happening to women and girls at the refugee camps after the earthquake in Haiti.

Cath Bono
Kate A.4 years ago

it's digusting this is happening

Patricia W.
Patricia W.4 years ago

I came a hair's-breadth from being censured for comments on rapists, so I'll hold my tongue. These POS need to be dealt with in a manner that would leave them unable to rape again - I can think of several. Nothing is going to change until rapists are shown that we mean business. This world has no room for people who act like that.

Lindsey Williams
Lindsey Williams4 years ago

sadly noted.

Patricia Y.
Patricia Y.4 years ago

Everything about this is shameful and very very sad.