The world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945, said the UN humanitarian chief of staff, Stephen O’Brien. More than 20 million people in four countries are at imminent risk of starving to death.
The UN has long warned against a massive famine due to prolonged drought that has occurred in the regions involved. On Friday, O’Brien asked the UN Security Council for a transfer of additional funds immediately to save lives in Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and northeastern Nigeria.
He said that without a concerted and coordinated effort, many people will starve to death, and many more will die from disease.
‘To be completely clear, we need $ 4.4 billion (37.7 billion kroner) before July’, said O’Brien.
Besides requesting funds, the emergency manager asked for safe and unhindered access to the affected areas, to provide humanitarian assistance and an all-out effort to avert a disaster.
The UN defined the problem as including a famine which has reached more than 30% of children under five who are presently malnourished, already causing a death rate of over two deaths per 10,000 inhabitants per day.
Already, since the beginning of the drought we have been facing the worst humanitarian crisis since the founding of the UN.
Now more than 20 million people in four countries are affected by hunger, said O’Brien.
The worst crisis is in the state of Yemen, where two-thirds of the 18.8 million residents require emergency assistance. The number of people who do not know how to get their next meal has increased from three million in January to seven million in March.
The United Nations ‘Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ revised its population figures in 2015, projectiong a world population of 9.7 billion by 2050, and 11.2 billion by the end of this century.
The majority of the additional 4 billion people will be born in Africa in the Southern Hemisphere, which is also projected to be the region most severely affected by global warming.
How these figures relate to the present hunger crisis was not explained in their report.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today