The rest of the world, perhaps, has been a little late to the game in addressing the famine in the Horn of Africa, which is plaguing nations such as Somalia, Ethiopia, and the newly-formed South Sudan on the eastern part of the continent. It took until early to mid-July for United Nations officials to determine that the situation met the conditions its complex definition of a famine. Meanwhile, relief organizations have had trouble raising awareness of the famine with the media focused instead on the U.S. debt ceiling debacle domestically and Norway shootings and U.K. hacking scandal abroad.
But the people at Development Seed, a D.C.-based firm that specializes in open source technology, have been making a series of maps in partnership with the UN's World Food Programme with data from the U.S. Agency for International Development that has been made open to the public--a rarity in the federal bureaucracy, according to the company. The map above, taken from the interactive visualization hosted on the WFP's website, shows the current famine situation in the Horn of Africa. Redder, darker shades indicate more severe famine. Some of the hardest hit areas include the regions of Somalia controlled by al-Shabaab, a terrorist group seeking to overthrow the Somali government, which makes getting aid to there extraordinarily difficult.