Humanitarians urge action to avert famine in Somalia, S Sudan

TEHRAN, Apr. 13 (MNA) – The United Nations on Tuesday warned about the famine rising in Somalia and South Sudan.

The alert from the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) followed the latest food security assessments which showed that six million people in Somalia will face acute food insecurity in the coming months unless the rains come, according to UN.

That is almost double the number at the start of the year, said Lara Fossi, WFP Deputy Country Director in Somalia, who noted that Somalia last endured famine in 2011 and only narrowly avoided it in 2016-2017.

“This is a heads-up that this assessment is showing that we are already identifying six areas in Somalia that are at risk of famine, that are at risk of going down that route of 2011 if we don't act now,” she said.

The situation is equally devastating in South Sudan, where “two-thirds of the country will likely face hunger between May and July of this year,” said Meshack Malo, FAO Representative in South Sudan, speaking via Zoom from Juba, “In terms of actual numbers, that means this is about 7.74 million people; this is the highest number ever recorded.”

Famine was declared in two counties of South Sudan in 2017, although prompt international assistance prevented the situation from deteriorating further.

MP/PR

News Code 185655

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