The United Nations(UN) has warned that the world faces its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, with 20 million people facing starvation and famine in Yemen, in Somalia, in South Sudan and in Nigeria. More shocking is the dire warning that some 1.4 million children could starve to death this year alone.
Given these bleak numbers, the UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, has issued a plea for assistance in order to avoid "a catastrophe", the BBC-News reported on its website earlier this morning.
"We stand at a critical point in history...Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations," O'Brien was cited as confirming in the BBC-News report. He added: "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."
The UN humanitarian chief disclosed that $4.4 billion was needed by July to avert the impending disaster and humanitarian failing. If funding is not successful, O'Brien forecast: "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 even more instability across entire regions."
Of the millions at risk of starvation, 14.1 million are in worn-torn Yemen; 4.9 million in conflict ridden South Sudan; 2.9 million in climate and conflict effected Somalia and 1.8 million in northern Nigeria afflicted by extremist violence.
The images of starvation and famine have been stark with emaciated children reduced to eye-sockets and skin over frail toothpick- like torsos.
Yet, the suffering continues because of ongoing conflict, bad governments, poverty, under development, the lack of the rule of law and without any sympathetic systematic efforts by the stalwarts of rights and of liberty and of democracy to put an end to the contributing factors that lead to starvation and famine.