Four countries under risk of facing severe famine, warns UN Chief

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned four countries affected by conflict, namely, Congo, Yemen, northeast Nigeria and South Sudan that there may be a risk of famine and widespread food insecurity within these countries.

Stating that food insecurity in conflict-affected countries “is now further exacerbated by natural disasters, economic shocks and public health crises”, it can all be compounded back to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with AP, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said that the economic impact of the pandemic with severe lockdowns, border closures and restricted movements have all had “a big effect on food security and agricultural productivity.”

Citing the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises and recent food security analyses, the UN chief has stated that these four countries have the world’s largest food crises in the world.  According to him, the funding required to help these countries is extremely low.

He has said that it is highly significant to have these four countries meet the requirement in a previously set up 2018 Security Council resolution that reports to the council when the risk of conflict-induced famine and widespread food insecurity is high.

Fighting in these conflicted lands has been accompanied by major attacks on agricultural and pastoral land, followed by the looting of livestock and food, leaving more than 1.4 million people in the area “facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity”. In addition to this, according to his figures, at least 350,000 children suffer from severe or moderate acute malnutrition.

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