The United Nations has warned that the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945.
Stephen O'Brien, the U.N. humanitarian chief, is therefore urging world leaders to step forward and contribute toward saving countries like Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan from a catastrophe.
It is estimated that around 20 million people in those countries are on the brink of starvation. According to UNICEF, 1.4 million children will starve to death this year if they do not receive sufficient aid.
In Yemen, while one child dies ever 10 minutes as a result of a preventable disease, approximately 500,000 children below the age of 5 are suffering from acute malnutrition. Reports from the famine-struck countries show children with bones as thin as sticks, unable to move, laugh or do anything else due to a lack of energy.
Moreover, in South Sudan, around 100,000 people are facing starvation and millions are living through famine. Approximately 40% of the country’s population is said to be “in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance.”
In December, the U.N. estimated that there were around 75,000 children at risk of starving to death. But what is even worse is that another 7.1 million people in Nigeria and Lake Chad area "severely food insecure."
Just last month, the death of 110 people in a 48-hour period was reported in Somalia. Complex weather conditions in the country have killed off crops and livestock, leaving nearly 6.2 million people in need of help and food aid.
Unfortunately, the horrific food emergencies in these countries are caused mainly due to conflict, war and a lack of rule of law. In some areas, humanitarian convoys and warehouses are being looted, either by government or rebel forces, thus resulting in the current situation. U.N. officials are hopeful that those in power will step forward and contribute toward the funds needed, in order to protect millions of lives currently at risk.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Feisal Omar