dglobalnews.com How to save 20 million people from starvation
Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Orlando Mckenzie

How to save 20 million people from starvation

How to save 20 million people from starvation

O'Brien said the United Nations and its partners were ready to scale up their response but needed "the access and the funds to do more" adding that it was possible to "avert these looming human catastrophes".

"We stand at a critical point in history".

The situation is not much brighter in South Sudan, where over 7.5 million people need help and some 3.4 million - a rising figure - have been displaced as a result of conflict in the country.

Without the immediate injection of funding, O'Brien said, "people will simply starve to death" and "many more will suffer and die from disease". "Millions of lives are at risk and more will die if we do not act quickly and decisively", the World Bank boss noted.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien (second right) visiting Ganyiel, Unity state, South Sudan, on 4 March 2017, is briefed on the ongoing humanitarian response to starvation in the region.

Without the money, he said, children will be stunted by severe malnutrition, gains in economic development will be reversed and "livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost".

He announced that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will chair a pledging conference for Yemen on April 25 in Geneva.

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The ravages of war have also hit South Sudan, where three years of fighting has caused a man-made starvation. 'Parties to the conflict are parties to the starvation - as are those not intervening to make the violence stop'.

O'Brien said that Yemen was facing the worst crisis, with 18.8 million people (two thirds of the country's population), in need of aid. Millions of people prevented from receiving aid by parties to conflict.

Fighting on the ground and air strikes on areas held by Houthi rebels, targeted by a Saudi-led coalition backed by the United States and UK, have displaced more than three million people.

On the United Nations response in these locations, Mr. O'Brien highlighted that strategic, coordinated and prioritized plans are in place and dedicated teams on the ground are closely working with partners to ensure that immediate life-saving support reaches those in need. "Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak that began in June 2016 has spread to more locations".

Somalia is on the brink of imminent starvation as about six million people, nearly half of the population, require urgent humanitarian aid, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement. "With everything lost, women, boys, girls and men now move to urban centres". "Yemen, northern Nigeria and Somalia are also on the brink of famine", analysts said.

In northeast Nigeria, a seven-year uprising by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has killed over 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes. But we need the access and the funds to do more.

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