The United Nations is warning that nearly 1.4 million children face death, with more than five million others facing malnourishment as famine looms in war torn nations across the world.
“Children are paying a disproportionate price as famine looms across Somalia, South Sudan, north-east Nigeria and Yemen. Nearly 1.4 million children face imminent risk of death, and more than five million children face malnourishment this year,” said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director.
The above mentioned countries have been hard hit by famine attributed to a lengthy drought, added to the war situations that crippled farming activities.
Forsyth said that UNICEF, other agencies of the UN and non-governmental organizations are reaching at least 10 million people every month in the four countries with life-saving assistance.
He however warned that the threat of famine has not passed, and effort should be sustained to save the children affected.
Forsyth went on to warn of possible emergence of new challenges, if the famine crisis goes on much longer.
“The longer these crises go on, the greater the risk of new emergencies within these emergencies – like the cholera outbreak in Yemen,” he said.
The UN earlier this year ranked South Sudan as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis, and third worldwide after millions fled their homes due to the war there.
About half the population is reported to have been displaced by the war that broke out in 2013 December.
Forsyth called upon the United States to assist the families affected in the four countries, to enable them survive the crisis.
“Children and families facing the gravest threats count on the leadership and generosity of the people of the United States to stand with them, to help them survive this crisis and go on to build a brighter future for themselves and their countries,” he said.