Global spectre of famine


Sir, – I was an aid worker in Somalia 10 years ago, when three million people faced famine, as a result of a massive drought and violent conflict.

The world delayed a response, knowing that people were dying. Aid agencies like Concern did everything we could to secure funding and reach families forced to make unimaginable choices about which child would live as food and water disappeared.

Parents told us of the choices they made as they walked for days to reach assistance, leaving the weakest children behind.

Over 260,000 people died – a conservative estimate.

In contrast, the 2017 drought in Somalia was adequately resourced, and the response was swift. When action is taken early, lives are saved.

Today, however, 34 million people across the globe are at risk of famine.

Donors are being asked to step up again to save lives and livelihoods so that people not only survive but keep their assets, stay in their homes and recover and rebuild.

Waiting for that famine alarm bell in order to respond means thousands are already dead. – Yours, etc,



Head of International


Concern Worldwide,

Lower Camden Street,

Dublin 2.