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World must act quick to save people from starvation in war hit countries

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13th-Mar-2017       
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THE United Nations Humanitarian Chief Mr Stephen O'Brien's warning that the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II with over 20 million people facing starvation and famine in four countries is a terrible disclosure at a time when the world is not having any shortage of food and resources to save those people, but they are left to suffer from man-made war and conflicts.

The World War II devastated the world for grabbing others' land for power and wealth and it can't be denied that the world peace is under severe threat again from similar politics of intolerance and greed by powerful nations over poorer ones. 

We must say the world leaders must pay heed to the warning of the UN Humanitarian Chief to come to the help of the dying people and that should also require reversing the politics of destroying small and poorer nations so that they can live in peace. People can live better in those countries if they are left to live and work in peace.    

Stephen O'Brien has depicted a horrendous picture of Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen where ethnic conflicts have been fuelled to devastating war destroying the countries and the people denying unhindered access to food and other humanitarian assistance to punish them. Warlords are fighting for control of the land and wealth with outside powers helping one side or the other. Syria, Iraq makes no exceptions.   

The UN Humanitarian Chief has said hunger and crisis of livelihood are threatening existence of millions in those countries asking for urgent mobilization of around $4.4 billion by July to what he said " to avert a catastrophe."

Prior to a Ministerial-level pledge making meeting for Yemen in Geneva on April 25 to be chaired by new UN Chief Antonio Guterres, Stephen said without immediate mobilization of resources many will simply die. Hundreds and thousands of children stunted without enough food will have no future.    

The largest humanitarian crisis in the world is Yemen, he said with two thirds of the population in need of assistance. The conflict has left more than 7,400 people dead and 40,000 wounded since the war broke out in March 2015. He said despite assurances from parties to allow access of humanitarian assistance to starving people, leaders and their proxies break the promise to keep the people starving. 

He has said a total of $2.1 billion is needed to reach 12 million people with life-saving assistance and protection in Yemen this year. The same situation is in South Sudan where he said famine is man-made and parties to the conflict are parties to the famine. They are not allowing food and humanitarian assistance to reach the people.  More than 7.5 million people need assistance where over 3.4 million are displaced. Nearly 200,000 have fled South Sudan since January this year.

In Somalia more than half the population -- 6.2 million need humanitarian assistance and protection, including 2.9 million at risk of famine. Nearly one million children under the age of five are facing acutely malnutrition. Women and children walk for weeks in search of food and water. In northeastern Nigeria, over 10.7 million people need humanitarian aid, including 7.1 million facing severely food insecurity. This should not be the case for Nigeria - a country with huge oil reserves and cash.  


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