Holy month of Ramadan coincides with longest drought in Somalia’s history, forcing some Muslims to break fast

Fox News Flash top headlines for March 29

The holy month of Ramadan this year coincides with the longest drought ever recorded in Somalia. As the sun sets And Muslims Gathering around the world to break their daily fasts with lavish dinners, Hadieq Abdullah and her family have only water and whatever food they might have on hand.

Mohamed is among more than a million Somalis who have fled their homes in search of help while an estimated 43,000 people died last year alone. She and her husband and their six children are now sheltering in one of the sprawling displacement camps around the capital, Mogadishu.

Ramadan has brought an increase in food prices for a country already reeling from hyperinflation caused in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and withering local crops due to five consecutive failed rainy seasons. Millions of livestock, which are essential to people’s diet, died.

Islamic authorities say the Ramadan fast will begin on Thursday

Now it is more difficult for the displaced to get food. This Ramadan, Mohamed and her family rely on well-wishers to provide their single meal of the day. First, they break their fast with water and pieces of dates, then spoonfuls of rice. Finally, they eat a meal of cooked rice with a mixture of meat, bruised bananas and a small bag of juice, which Mohammed waits in line for hours under the blazing sun to get.

“I remember the Ramadan fast that we used to enjoy in the past when we enjoyed and prospered,” she said. “We have been milking our goats, cooking ugali (corn gruel) and sprouting cabbage and drinking water from our catchment. Yet this year we are living in a camp, without plastic to cover us from the rain, without food to eat, thirsty and dehydrated. We have this hot little meal, but is You think that could feed a family of six children plus a mother and a father? It’s not possible.” The family was once prosperous and owned farmland and goats in a village about 87 miles west of the capital. Now they are trying to get by with the little money her husband earns by carrying goods in a wheelbarrow. But food prices have soared that his income is no longer enough to buy a 2.2-pound bag of rice.

Food is prepared for people in a camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, on March 24, 2023. This year's holy month of Ramadan coincides with the longest drought on record in Somalia.

Food is prepared for people in a camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, on March 24, 2023. This year’s holy month of Ramadan coincides with the longest drought on record in Somalia. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

inflation In Somalia the richest are also pinched. A typical Ramadan breakfast includes samosas and other snacks. Juice, tea and coffee. main course of rice, spaghetti, or flatbread with camel, goat, chicken, or fish; Finally dessert.

Ramadan kicks off in much of the Middle East amid soaring prices

Horn of Africa The country imports the majority of its food, from wheat grown in Ukraine to bottles of Mountain Dew stocked in some of Mogadishu’s gleaming shops. Meanwhile, prices of staples such as rice and cooking oil continue to rise in parts of the country.

WFP monitoring reported this month that supply chain resilience was generally good in Somalia, but that a sharp rise in demand for Ramadan would be “a disadvantage for vulnerable households who depend on local markets.”

“We are already seeing a sharp rise in the prices of food and other basic commodities,” said Ahmed Khader Abdi Jama, a lecturer in economics at the University of Somalia. “When there is an external factor that can reduce food supplies, such as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Somalis are likely to feel undersupplied.”

For example, a kilogram of camel meat that used to cost about $4 before the holy month now costs about $6. But Khadr said that this inflation will subside after the end of the month.

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Ramadan is the month of charity and forgiveness throughout the Islamic world. As more and more Somalis are displaced by drought, imams from mosques in Mogadishu are leading efforts to encourage the city’s wealthy and others who can afford to sympathize with the poor and give generously.

One of the imams, Sheikh Abd al-Karim Isa Ali, said, “Some people need food to be able to break their fast.” “Please help them.”

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