How a 20-million-person crisis goes unseen

Battered by drought and civil wars, more than 20 million people are at risk of starvation in what aid workers call the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II.  Shining a spotlight on far-away problems is always a challenge for aid groups – even amid drought and famine in Africa, which is being called the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. But when they succeed, public awareness often translates into action to investigate the daunting challenges as well as the long-term efforts that are saving lives. 

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Children Paying a Disproportionate Price as Famine Looms

Across Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen “the threat of famine has not passed. Unless we sustain and further scale up our collective efforts, there is the risk that many more millions of children will die of hunger or be permanently stunted. And the longer these crises go on, the greater the risk of new emergencies within these emergencies – like the cholera outbreak in Yemen.

We must re-double our efforts to deliver at scale, to find ways to address the obstacles that so far are preventing us reaching some of the most vulnerable children and communities, avert new emergencies and help put millions of families on a path to sustainable recovery. And much more needs to be done to address the root causes of these crises, bringing an end to protracted conflicts and human rights violations and linking our emergency humanitarian response to effective development support which addresses the underlying vulnerabilities of communities.”

Read more here on Relief Web.

Russia Delivers Humanitarian Aid to Yemen

It’s tiny but everything counts: Russia’s Emergencies Ministry plane carrying more than 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid landed at Sana’a International Airport, Tuesday. Among other things, the cargo included food, tents, and medical equipment. 

UN officials have estimated that Yemen’s war, ongoing since 2015, has claimed the lives of over 10,000 civilians, with at least 2 million displaced because of the fighting. According to a UN backed report, some 60 percent of Yemenis, 17 million people, are currently in “crisis” or “emergency” food situations.

Read more here.

Senate Hearing Highlights Saudi Arabia’s Responsibility For Suffering In Yemen

Experts on humanitarian issues, including top U.S. officials, used a Senate hearing Tuesday to highlight how U.S. partner Saudi Arabia has exacerbated global hunger with its American-backed military campaign in neighbor state Yemen, where the United Nations says 17 million people lack access to sufficient food and a child under 5 years old dies every 10 minutes of preventable causes.

Sen. Todd Young (R) hopes testimony on delayed U.S. aid and other problems will boost skepticism of the kingdom’s actions.

Read more here.

Poll Reveals 85% of Americans Oblivious to Hunger in Africa and Middle East

Low public awareness of food crisis in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen gives way to widespread concern among US citizens once informed.

Less than a fifth of Americans are aware that extreme hunger threatens the lives of 20 million people in Africa and the Middle East, yet the overwhelming majority regard it as the most pressing global issue once they have been told, a poll of US voters has revealed.

Research by the International Rescue Committee showed that Millennials, loosely defined as young adults born between 1981 and 1997, are the generation most concerned about solving the hunger crisis in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Read more in The Guardian, UK.

Mass Starvation Threatens Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.

How do you make the world care about tens of millions of people on the brink of starvation? That is the question that the United Nations and other international organizations are struggling with while the largest famine threat in recent history is sweeping across nations in Central Africa and the Middle East, including Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.

The situations in these countries are largely man-made by ongoing conflict in mostly agricultural regions. War has decimated infrastructure and markets, and farmers have fled, leaving their crops unharvested. Getting aid to areas controlled by groups like Al-Shabab in Somalia, and Boko Haram in Nigeria is extremely difficult and dangerous.

Read more on Aljazeera.