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UN Warns World Facing Largest Humanitarian Crisis since 1945

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

New York, March 11 (QNA) – The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nation’s humanitarian chief said as he pleaded for help to avoid “a catastrophe”. Stephen O’Brien said more than 20 million people face the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.
UNICEF has already warned that 1.4 million children could starve to death this year. O’Brien said that $4.4 billion was needed by July to avert disaster.  “We stand at a critical point in history,” O’Brien told the Security Council. “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,” he warned. 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 $90 million so far in 2017, despite generous pledges. In Yemen, 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 that two thirds of Yemen’s population is in need of some sort of humanitarian help. Meanwhile, UN agencies say that 100,000 people are facing starvation in South Sudan, while a further million are classified as being on the brink of famine. 
Overall, The UN says that or 40% of South Sudan’s population are “in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance. The UN has described the unfolding disaster in north-eastern Nigeria as the “greatest crisis on the continent”, where thousands of people are living in famine-like conditions in urgent need of help. 
The UN estimated in December that there were 75,000 children at risk of starving to death. Another 7.1 million people in Nigeria and the neighboring Lake Chad area are considered “severely food insecure”.

In Somalia, there were reports of 110 people dying in just one region in a 48-hour period at the beginning of March. 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. (QNA)

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