China slow to act on disaster in Somalia

CHINA needs to step up and be a world leader in showing it cares in relation to the famine in Somalia, The Lancet says.

The call follows a slow response from the international community to the famine in what was, according to the journal, a preventable disaster.

The famine was man-made, rather than a natural disaster due to lack of rainfall, an editorial said.

Despite early forecasting of the crisis through the Famine Early Warning Systems Network in November 2010, aid did not arrive in Somalia until eight months later.

China, in particular, was slow to react saying it would merely pay “close attention” to the disaster before pledging a modest $14 million in food aid – and that was after a plea from US House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

China is Africa’s second-largest trading partner after the US.

The famine in Somalia is likely to last until at least December and it is estimated more than 29