Interactive: How the world responded in 2011 to Somalia’s famine

The Guardian has produced an excellent interactive analysis of how, and why, the international community responded to the famine in Somalia in 2011:

Some conclusions:

Despite sophisticated early warning systems to help predict – and, in theory, prevent – the escalation of severe food crises, it seems it is still the declaration of famine that prompts action.

More than 70% of funding and almost 90% of mainstream US and UK media coverage (based on our analysis of six major news outlets) came after the formal declaration of famine on 20 July 2011. Public engagement, estimated by Google searches and Twitter mentions, followed a similar trend.


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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.