Capitalist Barbarism Creates Starvation in the Horn of Africa

Cattle in drought-afflicted Ethiopia.

Currently, the Horn of Africa, which includes Djibuti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritria and Kenya, is facing a horrific food and water crisis. The consequences are catastrophic for the people of the region. It is estimated that 1.1 million people have already been displaced from their homes in search of food and water. As of September, 22 million people could face starvation, 10 million of them children. This crisis has intensified conflicts between different ethnic groups, worsening armed conflicts like the Ethiopian civil war which has left hundreds of thousands dead since November 2020.

The lack of rainfall in the region over the past four years has led to the worst drought in over 40 years. This lack of rainfall is the result of climate change, which generates more and more so-called extreme weather events, as well as heating up of the climate, especially in regions like the Horn of Africa that are near the equator.

The war in Ukraine is making the disaster in Africa even worse. The Russian invasion of one of the world’s major “breadbasket” countries, Ukraine, cut off enormous amounts of grain to the world market, driving up food prices around the world.

What makes the situation even more horrible is that the world actually produces more than enough food to meet the needs of the entire population. But it is estimated that under the incredibly wasteful food production and distribution system under capitalism (driven entirely by the search for profit) as much as 44% of food produced is never consumed.

From the relentless destruction of ecosystems to constant war to the wasting of food and resources necessary for life, this system is barbaric!