In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for inaction or indifference – UN Secretary-General
More than 20 million people in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are facing famine or a credible risk of famine over the coming six months. With access to people in need and sufficient funding, the United Nations and its partners can avert famine and provide the necessary relief and support where famine already exists.
To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries over the coming months, the United Nations and its partners will continue to scale up humanitarian operations. Life-saving assistance in the areas of food and livelihoods, nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene will be prioritized, as these areas represent the key sectors of famine response and prevention.
“One of the biggest obstacles we face now is funding. Humanitarian operations in these four countries require more than US$5.6 billion this year. We need at least $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe. Despite some generous pledges, just $90 million has actually been received so far – around two cents for every dollar needed,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, addressing a packed press briefing at UN headquarters. “Funding shortages have already forced the World Food Programme to cut rations in Yemen by more than half since last year. Without new resources, critical shortages will worsen within months.”