Donor nations came under heavy criticism for their slow response, but aid groups acknowledge the situation is exacerbated by Somalia’s security situation, where Islamist rebel groups have restricted the activities of major aid organizations. Just this week, the radical Al-Shabab militia banned the International Committee of the Red Cross from operating in the areas of southern central Somali that remain under Al-Shabab control.
On Twitter, an Al-Shabab spokesman calling himself (or herself) @HSMPress accused the Red Cross of distributing outdated food that was “unfit for human consumption.”
What about drought?
But as famine eases in East Africa, there are signs that a severe drought is beginning to take hold in West Africa, placing strains on a global aid system that is still struggling to recover from the Horn of Africa drought of 2011.