Massive Starvation– The UN Refugee Agency has issued a report cum warning against the looming mass deaths of 20 million people in 4 African countries- Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen& Somalia.
The agency reports that conflicts/insecurity and severe food shortages have caused extreme starvation in the African countries. Many have been displaced in the mentioned nations, thanks to extremist attacks.
“In Sudan, for example, where our initial estimate was for 60,000 arrivals from South Sudan this year, we are in the process of revising the expected total upwards to 180,000. Similarly in Uganda we are revising planning from 300,000 displaced to 400,000.”
“In all, more than 20 million people in Nigeria(northeast), South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are experiencing famine or are at risk.”
About 7 million people in north-eastern states like Borno, Adamawa and Yobe currently struggle with food insecurity and general welfare. Food is a basic necessity for displaced persons in Nigeria especially with the economy which is not doing so well.
In Somalia, about 500,000 persons have been displaced from November till now. Of that number report shows that 278,000 were displaced in the first quarter of 2017.
Yemen at the moment is witnessing the highest humanitarian crisis in the world- about 19 million people are in need of humanitarian help while 17 million are in need of food.
In 2011, UNHCR reported the death of 260, 000 people as a result of famine in the Horn of Africa. The agency warns that if nothing is done as soon as possible, the outcome will be worse than previous record.
They stress that there is a dire need to raise funds to avert the dangerous outcome of the present massive starvation.
“We are raising our alarm level further by today warning that the risk of mass deaths from starvation among populations in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Nigeria is growing.”
As usual, children and nursing mothers stand a higher risk of malnutrition and probable death. Children currently take up the most percentage of refugees in restive African societies.
In Sudan for instance, children account for 62% of refugees who are fleeing the country.
The report says that about 5 million children may pull out from school because of the increasing starvation rate. In Kenya, 175,000 students in drought areas have stopped attending school while about 600 schools have folded in Ethiopia.
UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says the hunger and conflict rates in the mentioned countries have increased the rate of refugee crisis in Africa.
“Conflict in South Sudan coupled with drought is leading to famine and outflows of refugees, insecurity in Somalia is leading to rising internal displacement…”
Filippo Grandi, UNHCR High Commissioner will be attending a meeting in Berlin today to address and source for ways to raise funds for the 20 million people across Africa who stand the risk of dying from hunger.
“What we are looking at is the need for funding across the international community,”
The UN has received $984 million out of a $4.4 billion appeal fund to help countries that are threatened and affected by massive starvation.