The UN Security Council urged warring factions in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northeastern Nigeria to allow humanitarian aid access and countries to donate more to save 20 million people from famine.
The conflict between Nigeria’s armed forces and Boko Haram has created a man-made famine in the country, and experts stipulate that it will only get worse.
“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” the FAO said.
By simply pledging humanitarian assistance and ignoring the conflict at the root of unfolding the food crisis, the US and UK aren’t really making a difference.
Record temperatures bring with them more drought, food insecurity, famine and massive human displacements.
The region, which fell to war in 2013, is no longer being classified as being in a state of famine, but situations are still being described as “dire”.
The spectre of violence, ethnic cleansing and starvation hangs upon the young war-torn nation, as repeated efforts to broker peace have failed.
In Somalia, the UN reports that 3.2 million people – that’s one third of its estimated 11 million inhabitants, are now on a ‘hunger knife-edge.’
Despite the fact that food crises can be prevented, they continue to arise due to the community’s collective amnesia on what has worked and what has not.
Some 17 million of Yemen’s 26 million people lack sufficient food and at least three million malnourished children are in “grave peril”.
The severe food security crisis in Yemen needs not just an immediate humanitarian response, but also a long-term political solution in ensuring an adequately funded recovery plan.
Some 6.7 million people in Yemen are classified in phase 4 on an international scale of food security, with phase 5 constituting a famine.
Many observers feel outraged about the international community’s seeming indifference when it comes to African famine deaths.
Some 110 people have died in southern Somalia in the last two days from famine and diarrhoea due to a drought that is causing widespread food shortage.
Nearly half of South Sudan’s population could be severely food insecure and at risk of death in the coming months because of the avoidable acts of civil war in a land of plenty.
Wars in Yemen, northeastern Nigeria and South Sudan have devastated households and driven up prices, while a drought in East Africa has ruined the agricultural economy.
The UN has said the economy is close to collapse and many areas are at risk of famine, a word the agency uses sparingly and only when certain criteria have been met.