Africa is facing its worst food crisis of the last three decades which will have up to 50 million people starving by December, the United Nations warns.
Severe weather conditions caused by El Nino — a weather phenomenon affecting temperatures around the world — has the continent in the grips of a brutal drought that has destroyed crops, disrupted water systems and raised food prices.
An addition of 10 million people in Ethiopia, six million in Southern Sudan as well as five million in Yemen, an Arab country in Western Asia, are in danger of starvation after the floods and droughts, quoted the United States.
“The collective impact of the El Niño phenomenon has created one of the world’s biggest disasters for millions of people, yet this crisis is receiving little attention.” Stephen O’Brien, the UN’s humanitarian chief said in an interview. “The numbers are staggering. One million children in eastern and southern Africa alone are severely acutely malnourished, and across southern Africa 32 million people need assistance and that figure is likely to increase.”
Read More: An Entire Country In Africa Is Starving
The drought was expected to give way in the next month as the warm waters of the Pacific returned to normal, but its effect would be felt for many months to come, stated the World Food Programme. The UN predicts majority of the food will be used up by July, while the crisis will reach its peak in between December and April of next year.
The continent needs immediate relief worth at least $4.5 billion but as yet, only a small percentage of it has been raised. International donors fear they will be unable to gather enough donations to buy food supplies and deliver them in time.
The Horn of Africa and majority of South Africa are in dire straits and climate change is not the only thing to blame. Weakening currency is making food more expensive and the Syrian war and refugee crisis is making it difficult to supply food.