Middle-East, North Africa face worst humanitarian crisis

(VOVworld) – Millions of children are on the brink of starvation in the worst humanitarian crisis in decades, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday, urgently calling for nearly $255 million to respond to immediate needs in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. More than 30 million people in the Middle-East and North Africa are suffering from starvation due to fighting in the region.
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“Time is running out,” UNICEF said, noting the threat from famine, drought and war. Some 22 million children are hungry, sick, displaced and out of school in the four countries, according to UNICEF. Nearly 1.4 million face an imminent risk of death this year from severe malnutrition.

Famine was declared a month ago in South Sudan, and will likely be declared soon in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen where fighting has pushed people off their farmland and droughts have destroyed their animals and what is left of their crops.

UNICEF is calling for $255 million to provide 22 million children with food, water, health care, education and protective services for the next few months. The majority of the money will go towards nutrition programs, health services, water, and sanitation. This request is part of a broader appeal for $712 million for all of 2017, 50 per cent more than what was requested for these four countries at this point last year.

The latest reports of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization show that food security and malnutrition in the Middle East and North Africa have worsened during the past five years. In 2014 and 2015, approximately 30 million people, 9.5% of the population suffered from acute famine. According to the FAO, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are among the world’s most hungriest countries because of continuous fighting.

Last week, the FAO warned that two thirds of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the verge of famine and that 60% all Yemenis are starving. According to the FAO, the 6-year conflict in Syria is negatively affecting food access of the Yemenis.

Thu Hoa



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