Address and Prevent Famine in Four Countries
On 22 February 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General issued an urgent Call to Action to the international community: famine had been declared in two counties of Unity State in South Sudan, and 20 million people, including 1.4 million severely malnourished children, were at risk of famine across north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Life-saving operations were immediately scaled up in all four countries, but within extremely challenging environments. The UN and our partners are now providing life-saving assistance to nearly 13 million people each month.
Photo: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich
Ongoing and protracted conflict continues to be the principal driver of the humanitarian crises in these countries. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, local economies and livelihoods crippled, and social-service delivery networks destroyed. Humanitarian access is severely compromised in each context, and the operating environments are deadly for civilians and aid workers. Scaled-up operations have so far averted famine, but humanitarian needs remain alarmingly high, in some cases higher than at the start of the year. It is vital to sustain ongoing humanitarian operations to save the many lives and livelihoods at stake.
People Who Need Urgent Food Assistance
Children Severely Acutely Malnourished
Sources: 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen.
An elevated risk of famine persists in the north-east. Some areas remain inaccessible to humanitarians, leaving affected people in life-threatening conditions.
South Sudan Emergency
Six million people in South Sudan are severely food insecure, and 1.7 million of these people are one step away from famine. Relentless conflict, access constraints and violence against humanitarian workers and assets continues to hamper the response.
Due to persistent drought in a context of ongoing conflict, the risk of famine continues in Somalia, especially in central and northern parts of the country.
Yemen is facing the largest food insecurity emergency in the world. Life-saving interventions must continue and be scaled up for a large population in crisis.
Protracted conflict and subsequent access constraints are both a primary cause of the crises in all four countries, as well as a key challenge for partners delivering life-saving assistance. Without full, safe and unhindered access, humanitarian conditions will continue to deteriorate, pushing hundreds of thousands of people closer to famine.
* Road status reflects present conditions. Security-incident data for Yemen is only available after May 2016.
With funding and access to affected people, we can avert famine, save lives and prevent a human catastrophe on a massive scale. But we must act now before it’s too late.
Sources: Financial Tracking Service (FTS). 1The $4.9B funding-requirement figure reflects compiled data for the four priority clusters (health, food security, nutrition and WASH) in each of the four countries, as tracked by FTS. 2Includes flexible, unearmarked funding to the HRPs in the four countries. 3The requirements include funds requested for food security, health, nutrition and WASH interventions for refugees inside South Sudan. 4The priority requirements for Somalia have increased from $720 million to $1.21 billion until the end of the year.