According to UNICEF almost 1.4 million children suffering from severe malnutrition could die this year as famine hits Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. A severe food shortage has deteriorated into famine in parts of South Sudan, This man-made disaster is due severe economic instability and Civil war crisis that has been going on since 2013.
Famine was formally declared in
the world’s youngest country, South Sudan on Monday by the United Nations (UN). Agriculture which is the main occupation has been disrupted drastically by the war, leaving people unable to feed themselves adequately.
According to the UN, the famine affects more than 100,000 people in two counties of Unity state. There are fears it will spread as an additional one million South Sudanese are on the brink of starvation.
The UN has warned that three other countries – Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria also risk this threat.
In the north east of Nigeria, where a Boko Haram insurgency has forced many to flee their homes, ruined rural livelihoods and left many cut off from aid, nearly half a million children are expected to suffer from severe malnutrition this year.
Last year, there were warnings that famine was likely to occur in some of the previously inaccessible areas of the country’s Borno state – while it is likely to be ongoing, and set to continue, in other areas that remain cut off.
In Somalia, drought is putting a population only just recovering from decades of conflict at risk too. Almost half of the country, or 6.2 million people, are in need.
Nearly another half a million children are at risk in Yemen, a country still gripped by intense fighting. In the past two years, the number of children suffering from severe malnutrition in what was already the region’s poorest country has increased by almost 200%
UNICEF director Anthony Lake appealed for quick action. “We can still save many lives,” he stressed. “The severe malnutrition and looming famine are largely man-made. Our common humanity demands faster action. We must not repeat the tragedy of the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa.”