Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who will heed the warning?

The world has got only four months to save millions of people in Yemen and Somalia from starvation, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

"Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria, the root cause of this crisis is conflict, conflict that has been going on for years and that has been destroying livelihoods. People cannot farm their fields, people are displaced numerous times, infrastructure like hospitals is destroyed or damaged. So there are a lot of factors that play a role here and one of them is the risk of famine that we have seen. What we know, if you take a country like Yemen, is that the country is really reliant on the importation of goods. Ninety percent of its food and other goods were imported even before the conflict took place. So of course now, with the blockage of goods coming in, there is a real crisis and that needs to be tackled urgently. Our assessment on the ground of both countries is that we have got a very short window to actually tackle this situation. And we are saying that the root is not something that has to do with climate, it has to do with conflict. The international community needs to mobilize now and take this very seriously and tackle this issue...We have got three or four months before us and the alarm bell has to be rung. It is really about understanding that this is not business as usual, this is not just another crisis that an aid organization is talking about. This is four countries with twenty million people faced with the threat of famine. ."

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