With the harshest drought in decades, millions of people in the Horn of Africa are now at risk. Tens of thousands in Somalia have lost their lives to starvation, disease, and violence.

The UN estimates that $2.4bn will be required to address the crisis. But many people say that the tragedy was entirely predictable and preventable.

Why are millions of people still facing famine? What can be done to prevent future famines?

Are the problems in the Horn of Africa simply down to nature, or are people and politics to blame? Could the crisis have been averted through better preparation?

Inside Story discusses with guests: William Moseley, a professor of African Studies at Macalester College; Mohammed Omer Mukhier, the head of community preparedness and risk reduction, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and Cleo Paskal, an associate fellow of the Energy, Environment and Development Program at Chatham House.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Saturday, August 6, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera