20 Million People Facing Starvation and Famine, Says UN
New York – The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine, a senior United Nations official has warned.
Without collective and coordinated global efforts, “people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease”, Stephen O’Brien, the UN under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the Security Council in New York on Friday.
He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria.O’Brien said the largest humanitarian crisis was in Yemen where two-thirds of the population (18.8 million people) need aid and more than seven million people are hungry.
UN and food organisations define famine as when more than 30% of children under age 5 suffer from acute malnutrition and mortality rates are two or more deaths per 10,000 people every day, among other criteria.