Urgent UN warning: 20 million people threatened with Famine

Risk of Famine Action Against Hunger

Photo: Guy Calaf for Action Against Hunger

The UN has issued a warning that 20 million people are threatened by famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Without help, they are at imminent risk of dying.

For the first time anywhere in the world since 2011, famine was officially declared in parts of South Sudan: 100,000 people face catastrophic hunger and imminent risk of death in Unity State. A further 1 million people are on the brink of famine. Throughout the country, 4.9 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

But South Sudan is not the only country facing a catastrophe. The children of Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen are at risk of famine too.

Children are extremely vulnerable right now. Many of them will not reach their fifth birthday. They are in urgent need of treatment.

Our immediate priority today is to save lives. But needs are immense and in many of the affected areas we have reached a deadly tipping point. These crises are projected to worsen over the next six months unless a major response is mobilized now.

Our emergency teams are helping save lives, providing lifesaving treatment to malnourished children and delivering urgent food and water.

Following the UN’s plea, Action Against Hunger Canada’s Director of Operations, Paula Tenaglia, appeared on CBC’s The National and the CBC News Network on Saturday.

She urges Canadians to remember that the 20 million people at risk are not just a number but someone’s mother, father or child.

Watch Paula Tenaglia with Michael Serapio on CBC News Network.

Watch the segment on CBC’s The National.

We need to take urgent action today to prevent children from sliding even deeper into tragedy. The time to act is now to help children survive.


About Action Against Hunger’s work in these four countries:

We have been working in South Sudan since 1985. Last year alone, we reached more than 360,000 people with emergency food and nutrition programs, as well as livelihoods and water and sanitation interventions.

In Nigeria, Action Against Hunger has current programs in Yobe, Jigawa, and Borno States, where we have been working since 2010. Since May 2014, we have continuously scaled up our health, nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation programs in Yobe and Borno States. In August 2016, we launched a new emergency program in the newly liberated area of Monguno in north Borno, where we are currently assisting displaced people with food, water and sanitation, health services, and emergency nutrition.

Action Against Hunger has been present in Somalia since 1992 and our teams are working in 5 offices across the country. Last year we helped over 177,000 people. We are providing emergency nutritional assistance, and water, hygiene, and sanitation assistance, particularly through clean water distribution.

Action Against Hunger has deployed mobile nutritional teams in Yemen and supports stabilization centres in Hodeidan, Sana’a, and Aden.

Together, we must do everything in our power to save lives.


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