South Sudan’s government says it may withhold permission for aid workers to go to some rebel-held areas on security grounds, the president’s spokesman said on Thursday, after the U.N. complained aid convoys were being blocked.
The situation for the 20 million people at risk of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria remains dire, warned the U.N.’s chief humanitarian. “Twenty million people remain at risk, and 10 million more could join them without sufficient funding and improved access,” U.N. humanitarian coordinator Stephen O’Brien warned.
The world is witnessing a resurgence of cholera accompanying several hunger crises that threaten more than 20 million people in four countries. Some 100,000 people are estimated to be sick with the water-borne, often fatal bacterial disease in war-torn Yemen. Cholera outbreaks have also struck Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia in the past year.
The world’s leading economies set to meet in Italy need to step up to avert famine in Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia, and address the existing famine in South Sudan, Oxfam officials said.
The number of children fleeing violence and famine in South Sudan passed 1 million, two U.N. agencies announced today. Children make up more than 60 percent of the 1.8 million refugees from the world’s youngest country. Families face physical harm, psychological trauma, hunger – leaving an entire generation at risk of falling so far behind that they will never be able to catch up.
Health workers and facilities were under attack in conflicts in at least 23 countries in 2016, and the perpetrators are getting away with it, according to a new report from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.
The famine in South Sudan, unlike those created by drought in other parts of East Africa, is man-made. Anywhere from 100,000 to nearly 300,000 people in the region are believed to be facing starvation due to an ongoing civil war. The conflict has forced them to flee their communities, leaving behind crops or livestock, to hide in areas lacking food, and sometimes even water.
Japan began withdrawing peacekeeping troops from South Sudan today, a U.N. official announced, amid escalating violence that some are now describing as genocide. The move is a setback for international support of the South Sudanese government and, symbolically at least, undermines Japan’s pledge to be a “proactive contributor to peace.”
The U.N. again warned that as many as 20 million people are at risk of famine in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia. Warnings in February were not enough to raise the money needed to prevent a global hunger crisis. So, new attempts are being made to convince donor countries to do more.
The Disasters Emergency Committee said it raised £50 million in three weeks to support humanitarian aid for people in East Africa. While it is good news in the short term, there is concern that the constant cycle of these emergency appeals fails to help address underlying issues.