Famine affecting over 20 million in Yemen, Somalia, S. Sudan, Nigeria

A woman in Thonyor, South Sudan, holds a child while waiting to be registered for a food distribution Feb. 26. The United Nations declared the first famine since 2011 on Feb. 20 in parts of the war-torn country.

Famine affecting over 20 million in Yemen, Somalia, S. Sudan, Nigeria

Over than 20 million people are at risk from famine in war torn Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and the northeast of Nigeria, the UN warned on Wednesday.

The Security Council officially declared for the first time that the threat was directly linked to the armed conflicts raging in the afflicted areas. “The Security Council notes the devastating impact on civilians of ongoing armed conflict and violence,” the 15-member UN body said. It went on to issue a call for all parties “to urgently take steps that would enable a more effective humanitarian response.” According to the UN’s humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, only $2.5 billion have so far been paid up by donors to tackle the crisis, out of a total of $4.9 billion urgently needed.

The declaration added that the council “also emphasizes with deep concern that ongoing conflicts and violence have devastating humanitarian consequences and hinder an effective humanitarian response in the short, medium and long term and are therefore a major cause of famine in the situations above.”

In Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition started a bloody aggression on Yemen in March 2015 to oust the popular Ansarullah movement and restore to power fugitive Abdul Rabbuh Mansour Hadi who resigned as president and fled to Riyadh. The Saudis have failed to achieve their stated objective and are now stuck in the Yemen quagmire while indiscriminately bombarding the impoverished stated on an almost daily basis.

The Saudi war on Yemen, one of the world’s most impoverished countries, has killed nearly 13,000 people and left tens of thousands wounded while displacing millions. Another 10,000 people have died in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s restriction on airspace and the closure of Sanaa airport a year ago. A cholera epidemic has killed close to 2,000 people in the country with the aid officials warning that as many as 600,000 could get infected.

Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned against each other. The conflict in the horn of Africa state has worsened over the recent years following a reign of terror spread by al-Shabab Takfiri terrorist group which adheres to the Saudi-backed Wahhabi ideology.

The group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 by an African peacekeeping forces known as AMISOM and has since been chased from most of its other strongholds across the country.

However the Takfiri terrorist group remains a formidable threat, with its militants frequently carrying out bombings against both civilian and military targets in Mogadishu and other towns in Somalia and neighboring Kenya. Al Shabab’s terrors has impacted negatively on Somali’s agriculture while making it unsafe for aid agencies to assist civilians in need.

Since 2009 Nigeria has been facing an insurgency by Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group, which like al-Shabab is inspired by the official Saudi ideology of Wahhabism.

Prior to the rise of Boko Haram, northeastern Nigeria had an agrarian economy driven by smallholder farmers and livestock owners who produced enough food for the population to be mostly self-sufficient. But starting in the late 2000s, as the region became a war zone, farming became impossible.

Eventually the conflict wiped out 90 percent of Borno’s agricultural production and triggered a food crisis, according to Mustapha Malah, deputy director of the state’s agriculture office.

South Sudan is facing a hopeless situation after seceding from Sudan in 2011 due to incompetence by the Khartoum regime and an international US-Zionist plot to create a satellite state in the strategic region. The young African nation was apparently not ready for independence and plunged into a deadly civil war in 2013 in which over 50,000 people have been killed. Fighting is still ongoing, despite a peace agreement between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar signed in August last year.

The civil war has disrupted farming so much that famine as amllions of people are going hungry and thousands are at risk of starvation.


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