To boost support, the UN called a high-level event on Monday, calling for international action, before it was too late.
Nearly half a million people in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen are facing famine-like conditions (IPC Phase 5, under official classification). In recent months, vulnerable populations in Burkina Faso and Nigeria have suffered similarly.
In addition, 41 million people worldwide face an emergency level of food insecurity (IPC 4), just a slip away from the brink of famine, which represents a 50 percent increase in just two years.
Millions more are suffering from acute food insecurity (IPC 3) crisis levels and are at real risk of rapid deterioration.
A toxic mixture
Inaugurating the event, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs said that “when famine finally opens the door, it becomes so viral that other threats are unlikely.”
For relief chief Martin Griffiths, the situation is “the result of an economic collapse, climate change, a toxic mix of Covid-19 and, of course, the backlash behind this horrific disaster, which, as always, makes women and girls particularly vulnerable.”
He recalls, “Women spoke of their desperate move to find food to feed our families, taking refuge in the sex trade for food, early and child marriage, as I had recently heard in Syria.”
Mr Griffiths thanked donors, saying the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had been able to take humanitarian action to high-risk countries such as South Sudan, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Yemen, where the UN agency currently reaches 10 million people per month.
Mr. Griffiths warned, however, that it was time to redouble efforts and show that the world could face this challenge collectively.
“There’s time, not too much, and we have to make it happen,” he said.
Ku Dongguo, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), spoke on the occasion. For him, “food and livelihood support must be given together.”
“Supporting agri-food systems and providing long-term support, paving the way for recovery, simply beyond survival, and increasing resilience. I thank the members for their support. There is no time to waste, ”he said.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), stressed the need to get the message out, saying world leaders would “respond” when they “know what the reality is”.
Mr. According to Beasley, the world has ০০ 300 trillion in assets today, and at the height of the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic, the average value of millionaires has increased by an average of ২ 5.2 billion per day.
‘It’s an insult’
“And this is the million that we’re sitting here. Millions upon billions of dollars begging to save millions of people, and to save countries from instability, and to prevent mass immigration … I don’t know what on earth I miss. It’s a shame we’re having this conversation, “he concluded.
In March, the UN Secretary-General called for a swift, coordinated response to the Security Council.
At that time, Antonio Guterres also set up a high-level task force on famine prevention to draw attention to the most affected countries and gather support.