This week, the ICRC head of Delegation in South Sudan Jürg Eglin visited the Washington office and gave us a unique from-the-field perspective of the dire situation that nearly 20 million people throughout South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen are facing, a crisis that’s being referred to in humanitarian circles as the Four Famines. It’s not from a lack of resources or weather-related drought. As we’ve mentioned before in this roundup, these famines are a result of conflict, and conditions continue to worsen. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the four famines as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**
Kieran Guilbert reports that nearly five million people in the region are desperately hungry and risk starving to death this year if they do not receive food aid, according to figures from the United Nations. This could drive even more Nigerians to flee the country and attempt the perilous journey to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, unless the international community ramps up support and funds, said Ayoade Alakija, Nigeria's humanitarian coordinator. "The world could see a mass exodus from a country of 180 million people if support is not given, and fast ... if people facing famine fall into famine."
Gianna Toboni reports from Wajid on the crisis and follows a Canadian Somali doctor delivering desperately needed aid to the remote village. The UN has raised the alarm level on the hunger crisis hitting countries in the Horn of Africa. Half the population, or 6.2 million people now need humanitarian assistance to survive.
Yemen heads for famine as food used as weapon in conflict (The Irish Times)
Michael Jansen writes on a new report from the International Crisis Group, saying war is starving the people of Yemen and no amount of international humanitarian aid can feed them if current circumstances persist.
Famine-Stricken South Sudanese Hide in Swamps to Escape War (Bloomberg Politics)
By day, Mary Nyarac scours swamps for fish and edible water lilies, Okech Francis writes. When darkness falls and South Sudan’s militias retreat to their bases, she and hundreds of others fleeing a three-year civil war slip onto dry land and tend crops to stave off famine. Prowling hyenas pose a threat during Nyarac’s night-time harvests, but they worry her less than the armed men who can appear in daytime, the 20-year-old said as she sat beneath neem trees in the northern county of Leer, one of two areas in South Sudan where the United Nations in February made the world’s first declaration of famine since 2011. She and other residents are facing a catastrophe that’s being echoed by looming mass food shortages in Somalia, Yemen and northern Nigeria.
Get Ready for Another Famine-Fueled Migrant Crisis – In Nigeria (Foreign Policy)
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports that over the past few years, conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, and Afghanistan have created the largest international refugee crisis since World War II. Now, according to a top government official, another massive migrant crisis is looming in a far more populous country: Nigeria.
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