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Internally displaced Somali women stand in a queue waiting for relief food to be served south of Mogadishu, September 5, 2011.

Reuters

Famine looms in Somalia

The effects of the global food crisis have hit some parts of the globe harder than others. Prone to drought and largely reliant on food imports, the Horn of Africa is reeling, and Somalia, in particular, is facing an acute crisis.

The UN warned this week that “famine is at the door” of the 17 million-strong country, cautioning that several provinces in the southern Bay region could be in the throes of a deadly famine by the end of the year.

Somalia’s current predicament is a cautionary tale for other East African states that have also been pummeled in recent decades by extreme weather events and social and political instability.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following talks with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban in Moscow on February 1, 2022.

Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: Much ado about Ukraine, Myanmar anti-junta strike, Horn of Africa drought

Busy day for Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin continued his diplomatic offensive on Tuesday with a press conference alongside Hungary’s Kremlin-friendly Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Putin previously spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian PM Mario Draghi in an ongoing effort to exploit divisions of opinion among European leaders over the future of NATO and Ukraine. Putin wants NATO to roll back from Eastern Europe and to guarantee that Ukraine will never join the alliance. He reiterated that Washington continues to “ignore” Moscow’s concerns about Russia’s national security. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is working on a new “partnership” with the UK and Poland. This appears to be little more than diplomatic window-dressing, since Britain and Poland have already pledged to supply Ukraine with weapons. Zelensky also unveiled a plan to expand Ukraine’s army by 100,000 troops over the next three years. Military action doesn’t appear imminent, but you can count on more posturing.

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