‘Hunger tsunami’ could trigger multiple famines, Security Council warns |


Humanitarian Affairs chief Martin Griffiths reiterated previous warnings about the impact of the conflict in Ethiopia,


He spoke of his recent trip to Somalia, where more than 200,000 people are currently at risk of starvation – a figure expected to reach 300,000 by November – “with millions more” on the brink of starvation.

Recent humanitarian assessments have identified hundreds of thousands of people facing catastrophic levels of hunger, or Phase 5 of the Integrated Phase Classification System – the ultimate and most devastating stage.

Hunger is used as a tactic of war – United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator

“It just can’t get any worse than this,” the OCHA chief said, noting that the widespread suffering comes down to the direct and indirect impact of the conflict and “the behavior of the fighting parties.”

“War Tactics”

Mr. Griffiths observed that “a similar pattern plays out in every context,” describing how civilians are killed and injured; forcibly displaced families; market access and disrupted work; looted food stocks; while global economic decline makes food out of reach for vulnerable people.

“In the most extreme cases, warring parties have deliberately cut off access to commercial supplies and essential services that civilians rely on to survive,” he said.

“Hunger is used as a tactic of war.”

While aid workers have extended “lifelines”, interference, harassment and attacks often prevent access to those in need.

“Humanitarians will stay and deliver, but conditions in some contexts are unacceptable,” the OCHA chief said.

drive hunger

Meanwhile, drought, rising global commodity prices, and the impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are also worsening food insecurity and misery.

And people in South Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia are “literally on the front lines of climate change” as they face drought, floods, to desertification and water scarcity.


©UNICEF/Owis Alhamdan

Throughout the seven years of Yemeni conflict, the displaced children of Marib have experienced unimaginable suffering.

More than seven years of armed conflict in Yemen wreaked havoc and left some 19 million people acutely food insecure.

“An estimated 160,000 people are facing disaster and 538,000 children are severely malnourished,” the Relief Coordinator said, warning that funding shortfalls could worsen the situation.

Last year, south sudan was one of the most dangerous places for an aid worker, with 319 violent incidents targeting aid personnel and assets.

Meanwhile, more than 13 million people across Afar, Amhara and Tigray in Ethiopianeed vital food aid.

While improvements in the delivery of humanitarian aid have been seen in northern Ethiopia, “the resumption of hostilities in recent weeks is reversing recent progress”, he said.

Turning to the northeast Nigeriathe UN projects that 4.1 million people face high levels of acute food insecurity in conflict-affected Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, including 588,000 people who have already faced high levels of food insecurity. emergency between June and August – almost half of which were inaccessible for humanitarian assistance.

“Food security assessments could not be conducted in these areas, but we are concerned that some people are already at disaster level and at risk of death,” he said.

Displaced mothers with their children attend a WFP famine assessment exercise in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

© WFP/Arete/Siegfried Modola

Displaced mothers with their children attend a WFP famine assessment exercise in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

To take part

The humanitarian chief reminded the ambassadors that action can be taken, starting with sparing no effort to seek “peaceful and negotiated resolutions” to conflicts and other violent situations.

Second, States and armed groups must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the unhindered passage of humanitarian assistance.

Mr Griffiths also stressed that climate change was a “central issue for peace and security” both now “and of course in the decades to come”.

He implored all member states to prioritize “a longer-term approach and ensure a substantial proportion of funding – in grants, not loans – for climate change adaptation and mitigation. “.

“Time is not on our side,” he concluded.

Time is not on our side – United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator

Fanning the flames

Returning from a trip to Central America, the head of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, saw firsthand how the conflict “adds fire to the flames” of what is already a severe hunger crisis.

From the arduous Darién Gap crossing point in Guatemala, he told “tragic stories” of people migrating north “out of sheer desperation”.

“The impact of the climate crisis and the continued ripple effects of COVID have already exhausted the ability of many families to cope,” he said.

“People feel they have nothing left – they can stay and starve, or leave and risk death for a chance at a better future.”

“Unprecedented” global emergency

The WFP chief argued that under the threat of growing mass starvation and starvation, “we face a global emergency of unprecedented scale”.

And since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, “a wave of hunger has turned into a ‘tsunami'”, he continued, noting that up to 345 million people in 82 countries are “heading towards starvation”.

“This is a record – now more than 2.5 times the number of acutely food insecure people before the pandemic began.”

Mr. Beasley presented staggering statistics on the dire situation facing hundreds of millions of people around the world.

As raging conflicts push millions of “blameless civilians ever closer to starvation and starvation,” he called on the Council to “show the humanitarian leadership that the world urgently needs at this time and. .. to break the vicious circle of hunger and conflict, which is fueling a global food crisis”. crisis of insecurity that threatens to spiral out of control”.

“The hungry people of the world are counting on us to do the right thing – and we must not let them down,” Mr Beasley concluded.

A woman carries a basket of flowers past the cobbled streets and crumbling walls of Antigua, Guatemala.

Unsplash/Scott Umstattd

A woman carries a basket of flowers past the cobbled streets and crumbling walls of Antigua, Guatemala.

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