Leading European MP urges change of mind to save lives
Thijs Berman, Member of European Parliament for the Social Democrats, has criticised governments in Eastern Africa in their approach of the droughts in arid and semi-arid lands. According to Berman, the governments lack policies aimed at rural populations and called on the EU to prioritise food security in its development strategy. The current crisis in Eastern Africa is being caused by climate change, but also by failure to provide for proper rural policies.
In Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the drought is not the only cause of the hunger from which an estimated 10 million people suffer. Marginalisation of pastoralist peoples in national and local policies has led to less land to graze on and poor access to resources, such as water supply or education. Berman has witnessed the situation in Turkana on a fact-finding mission organised by CELEP. He acknowledged the potential of pastoralism as a viable economic way of life and said that governments in Eastern Africa had to step up to provide access to basic services.
You can read more about Berman’s position at the EU Socialists and Democrats website