Face of Famine

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The woman in the pale orange veil in the above slideshow counts herself as one of the countless refugees of the famine currently raging against the Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti region in the Horn of Africa. Her vacant stare and the premature lines of age in her skin relate the plight of a woman who probably remembers the fading hopes and expectations of her lost youth but no longer has little if any chance of achieving them.

Where and why did it all go wrong? Was this poor woman fated from the start to a life of desperation and disappointment?

As a lad I remember Life Magazine doing an impressive photo spread of the famine that devastated Biafra in the late 1960’s. Biafra was a part of Nigeria that had seceded from the mother country amidst a terrible civil war.

The Life photos were quite powerful, and one of the haunting looks of the photo shoot was the orange hair of the refugees who were caught by the photographers as they died from starvation. A photo in the slideshow above is one such Life photo. It shows a poor skinny woman who is so thin that she appears to be but a boy in the photo. Her hair is the telltale orange that so many of the starving Biafrans suffered through.

The following video is a report about the current African famine:

Now more than 40 years after the Biafran catastrophe, little has changed. Another famine now ravages the African Horn’s wasteland, and millions of people are starving and dying.

As always, civil war and sectarian violence complicate the issue. Photographers solemnly record the despair, devastation and dying for us. Our slideshow depicts a now infamous photo of a vulture watching over a starving child, waiting for meal time. This photo could be from any of the African famines of the last century because there always seems to be another African famine.

Why? Why can’t Africa get it right? Africa faces war after war and famine after famine decade after decade. China has pulled itself up by the bootstraps and is prospering. So has india. But not Africa.

Africa simply languishes. It makes no sense.


2 thoughts on “Face of Famine”

  1. Your post is short by taking the value of information and straight to the point. It has been a delight to go through. Thanks!

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