Famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria

Famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria

Over my years spent teaching and training in third world countries I've come across many people living and struggling to survive in poverty, more so in Rwanda and Zimbabwae than anywhere else but I'm also aware there are places in this world that I've never been where there is much more extreme poverty and where children and adults die daily, malnutrition and hunger being the main cause as well as drinking dirty water and diseases cause by infections that can't be treated due to lack of support and medical supplies.
Why in 2017 are there children starving in our world when we have food mountains in in other parts of the globe where food is in abundance and if anything is often wasted.
Can't we yet get our act together to not only campaign but take action on how fairly food in abundance is distributed through world aid.
Why are we still asking these questions and failing to address there problems in this day and age and how long will this continue?
Too many of us are more concerned about the next car were buying or the new kitchen we want for the house and turn a blind eye to those who battle with life and death on a daily basis and who have nothing not even there health, no food or clean water, simple things that we all take for granted.
If you were to turn on your kitchen tap now to fill the kettle and there was no water as the pipe burst it would be a hassle but for some it would be a real pain in the butt, but a quick call to the local plumber would have it resolved the same day if anything within a few hours.
Think though for a minute if you couldnt get it fixed for weeks and you had to do without any water, that would be a huge inconvenience right?
Now let's think about those who never have that tap and if they do they carry buckets on there heads for miles to collect some just to get through the day and for others who can't collect any as its not there so drink dirty water as there only option.
Think when your really hungry you can't wait to tuck into that delicious hot meal freshly prepared and how good and satisfying it tastes and makes you feel.
Now think of that hunger again and imagine it daily and there's no food coming, then your given a piece of dry bread and a cup of water or in some cases nothing.
How lucky are we just to have the basics, when I visit third world countries and give a child a smal bar of chocolate it is warming to see just how special that can be for them and really how much they appreciate that so much.
It is overwhelming to see what we actually waste and throw away each day when we prepare food and eat, why? because we know we can simply go buy more when we want.
We take for granted the abundance we have become accustomed to and it seems very unfair that we live in times when greed is so prevalent yet there are still millions of adults and children starving to death.
I'm not trying to preach, I'm no goody too shoes but look at the following statistics that shows were just not doing enough!
I'd like to start a campaign to make this crisis as aware as possible so we can work together and make a positive impact on the situation.

The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nations says, issuing a plea for help to avoid "a catastrophe".

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said that more than 20 million people faced the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Unicef has already warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.

Mr O'Brien said $4.4bn (£3.6bn) was needed by July to avert disaster.

"We stand at a critical point in history," Mr O'Brien told the Security Council on Friday. "Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations."

"Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease.

"Children stunted and out of school. Livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost. Communities' resilience rapidly wilting away. Development gains reversed. Many will be displaced and will continue to move in search for survival, creating ever more instability across entire regions."

Mr O'Brien's comments follow on from a similar appeal made by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last month.

At that time, he revealed the UN had only received $90m (£74m) so far in 2017, despite generous pledges.

Like Mr O'Brien, he urged more financial support for the four countries. But why are they in such dire need?

The pictures were among the most shocking of last year: emaciated children, clinging on to life with what little strength they had left. Four-year-olds not bigger than infants. And mothers unable to do anything to stop their children dying.

It is thought a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from a preventable disease, while half-a-million children under five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

The UN estimates some 19 million people - or two thirds of Yemen's population - is in need of some sort of humanitarian help following two years of war between Houthi insurgents and the government, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

What's hampering aid?

Continuing fighting, lack of rule of law, poor governance, under-development.

A naval embargo imposed by the Saudi-led coalition, fighting around the government-controlled port of Aden and air strikes on the rebel-held port of Hudaydah, have severely reduced imports since 2015.

A lack of fuel, coupled with insecurity and damage to markets and roads, have also prevented supplies from being distributed.

UN agencies say 100,000 people are facing starvation in South Sudan, while a further million are classified as being on the brink of famine.

It is the most acute of the present food emergencies, and the most widespread nationally.

Overall, says the UN, 4.9 million people - or 40% of South Sudan's population - are "in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance".

What's hampering aid?

Continuing fighting in the country that now has been at war since 2013, lack of rule of law, under-development.

Some UN officials have suggested President Salva Kiir's government has been blocking food aid to certain areas - a claim denied by the authorities.

There have also been reports of humanitarian convoys and warehouses coming under attack or being looted, either by government or rebel forces.

The UN has described the unfolding disaster in north-eastern Nigeria as the "greatest crisis on the continent" - the full extent of which has only been revealed as extremist militant group Boko Haram is pushed back.

It was already known the Islamist group had killed 15,000 and pushed more than two million from their homes. But as they retreated, it became clear there were thousands more people living in famine-like conditions in urgent need of help.

The UN estimated in December there were 75,000 children at risk of starving to death. Another 7.1 million people in Nigeria and the neighbouring Lake Chad area are considered "severely food insecure".

Boko Haram attacks, lack of rule of law, under-development.

There are still areas under the control of Boko Haram, which aid agencies cannot reach.

Thee have also been allegations of widespread aid theft, which are being investigated by Nigeria's senate.

The last time a famine was declared in Somalia - just six years ago - nearly 260,000 people died.

At the beginning of March, there were reports of 110 people dying in just one region in a 48-hour period.

Humanitarian groups fear this could be just the beginning: a lack of water - blamed partially on the El Nino weather phenomenon - has killed off livestock and crops, leaving 6.2 million people in urgent need of help.

 

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