Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria face major humanitarian crisis —UN
Excerpts from UN humanitarian chief’s statement to the Security Council on 10 March 2017:
It’s already the largest humanitarian crisis in the world and the Yemeni people now face the specter of famine. Today, two-thirds of the population – 18.8 million people – need assistance and more than 7 million are hungry and do not know where there next meal will come from. That is 3 million people more than in January. As fighting continues and escalates, displacement increases. With health facilities destroyed and damaged, diseases are sweeping through the country.
The famine in South Sudan is man-made. Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine – as are those not intervening to make the violence stop. More than 7.5 million people need assistance, up by 1.4 million from last year. About 3.4 million people are displaced, of which almost 200,000 have fled South Sudan since January alone. A localized famine was declared for Leer and Mayendit [counties] on 20 February, an area where violence and insecurity have compromised humanitarian access for years. More than one million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished across the country; including 270,000 children who face the imminent risk of death should they not be reached in time with assistance. Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak that began in June 2016 has spread to more locations.
In Somalia, more than half the population – 6.2 million people – need humanitarian and protection assistance, including 2.9 million who are at risk of famine and require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives, close to 1 million children under the age of 5 will be acutely malnourished this year. In the last two months alone, nearly 160,000 people have been displaced due to severe drought conditions, adding to the already 1.1 million people who live in appalling conditions around the country.
Nigeria and the Lake Chad region
10.7 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, including 7.1 million people who are severely food insecure. Humanitarian partners scaled up their response to reach the most vulnerable groups threatened by violence, food insecurity and famine, particularly in North-Eastern Nigeria.
Over 2.7 million Kenyans are now food insecure, a number likely to reach 4 million by April.