Friday, March 31, 2017

Impending Famines in Africa and Yemen │ Millions at Risk of Starvation

The Economist (Mar 30, 2017) - 70m people worldwide will need food assistance this year. In Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, FEWS Net states there is a "credible risk of famine". Between them around 20m people are at risk of starvation [...] “the largest humanitarian crisis” since 1945 is unfolding this year.

[...] The causes of famine are mainly political. The situations in South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria are no exception. War blights all of these countries. In South Sudan, where 5.8m need food assistance, the government binds delivery of aid in red tape and frequently denies deliveries. Aid workers suggest that by doing so, it prevents supplies getting into the hands of rebels who might then sell them to buy weapons. The main port in Yemen has been bombed out, and the lengthy permit process required to get food through maritime blockades means that it is often spoiled. Some 2m people are in an “emergency situation”, and a further 5m-8m do not have enough to eat. Nigeria’s war in the north has resulted in 800,000 people fleeing to one city alone, Maiduguri.

Emergency food assistance needs unprecedented. Source: FEWS Net.