- Nigeria, Three Others Face Threat of Famine
The world may experience unprecedented hunger this year following threat of famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen as a result of drought, conflicts and economic instability, a study by a United States-based group, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, has revealed.
It said in a report on Wednesday that already people in 45 countries were unable to feed themselves largely because of different forms of disasters and economic crises.
“The combined magnitude, severity and geographic scope of anticipated emergency food assistance needs during 2017 are unprecedented in recent decades,” FEWS NET said in a statement.
It also noted that about 70 million people were in need of food aid.
In Nigeria, it said a study backed by the United Nations and other aid agencies indicated that a seven-year insurgency by the Boko Haram group in the North-East led to famine in the area in 2016, adding that this could continue this year.
In Yemen and South Sudan, persistent conflict, economic instability and restricted humanitarian access made famine possible in 2017, FEWS NET said.
In Somalia, it said the failed 2016 rains and a forecast of poor spring rains presented a threat of a repeat of 2011 when famine killed 260,000 people.
The group said, “One third of the 70 million people needing emergency food aid live in four countries: Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and Malawi.
“Conflict is disrupting trade and humanitarian access in the first three of these, while Malawi has been hit by poor rains.”
The British Broadcasting Corporation also reported that there were fears that a famine could develop in the Horn of Africa, a region of eastern Africa facing acute food shortages.
The United Kingdom last year reportedly pledged £38m in food aid to drought-hit Ethiopia, enough to feed 1.3 million people for three months.