The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a presidential statement today on the risk of famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and northeast Nigeria. Across these countries, 20 million people are at risk for famine, making it the largest food security emergency since World War II. This marks the first time the UN Security Council has agreed on a product dedicated to famine.
“Famine is an issue of peace and security. With the adoption of this statement, the Security Council has finally acknowledged the clear link between conflict and famine. This is a man-made crisis, and people are dying of hunger because of man-made conflict. The Security Council must continue to demand access for food and other life-saving supplies and services for these vulnerable areas, and we must hold governments and armed groups blocking access accountable,” said Ambassador Haley.
The Security Council statement makes clear the link between conflict and famine in all four of these countries, where those fighting on the ground have all too often chosen not to allow deliveries of live-saving supplies. The statement asks the UN Secretary-General to warn the Council in the future when conflict may lead to famine and makes clear that the risk of famine should be a part of his regular reporting.
On July 8, the United States announced an additional $639 million in new humanitarian funding to support emergency response activities in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen – the four conflict-affected countries facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition. This brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance in these countries to $1.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2017, making the United States the single largest humanitarian donor to all four crises.