Famine

How to Halt Yemen’s Slide into Famine

A Saudi-led coalition attack on the city of Hodeida risks plunging millions of Yemenis into famine and will meet fierce resistance from Huthi rebels. ICG The U.S. should stop enabling coalition offensives and international stakeholders must quickly place Hodeida under UN control. What’s new?  At the end of October, fighting reached the outer edges of the city of Hodeida, a gateway on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for trade that is a lifeline for some two thirds of the country’s population. ... Read More »

South Sudan faces collapse if peace pact fails again. This can be averted

South Sudan is arguably the most fragile state in the world. Lacking an institutional legacy at its creation in 2011, political, security, economic, and social indicators have all deteriorated amid civil conflict. Luka Kuol The Conversation As state legitimacy has eroded, the number of armed factions and tribal militias has increased rapidly, now exceeding 40 such groups. One consequence of the prolonged conflict is that South Sudan – a nation of over 13 million people – is now one of the main sources of ... Read More »

Yemen on brink of ‘world’s worst famine in 100 years’ if war continues

UN warns that famine could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvation. Hannah Summers The Guardian Yemen could be facing the worst famine in 100 years if airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are not halted, the UN has warned. If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. She told ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

How social supermarkets are filling a gap in austerity Britain

Social supermarkets have emerged in Britain in the past five years as a response to food poverty and food waste. Lopamudra Patnaik Saxena The Conversation These non-charitable initiatives sell food “surplus” to people on low incomes at heavily discounted prices, and provide social support. In new research, my colleague and I have mapped the growth of social supermarkets and found that while they help support people who are struggling, they do little to challenge the inequalities in the food system. ... Read More »

Aid agencies warn cholera and catastrophe loom in Yemen

As fighting rages for control of the key port of Hodeidah, there are fears that the harbor will be closed, cutting off vital supplies to millions Jonathan Gorvett Asia Times With fighting continuing in and around the key port city of Hodeidah, aid agencies warned this week that disruption caused by the battle could trigger another cholera epidemic in Yemen – and spell disaster for the millions in the country now dependent on imported… “If the harbour is closed, it ... Read More »

UNICEF: 400,000 children on ‘verge’ of death in the DRC

The UN’s children’s agency calls for $88m of aid to address the ongoing crisis in Congo’s Kasai region. AlJazeera Up to 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo unless humanitarian aid efforts are ramped up, the UN’s children’s agency has warned. Fighting between government forces and regional militia in the Congo’s central Kasai province has created a “perfect storm of poverty, deprivation and conflict for the most vulnerable children”, UNICEFsaid in a… It called for urgent ... Read More »

STM opening metro stations as shelters for homeless during freezing weather

STM metro stations will serve as shelters for the homeless during the cold winter months STM has teamed up with several other organizations to provide those in need with a warm place to stay and social services at various metro stations. DH Montreal Staff The initiative has been in place for five years. Social workers will also be on site offering those in need a shuttle service when the stations close for the evening. “Homelessness is a complex social phenomenon that challenges ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis: Farmers struggle as people go hungry

The state of Portuguesa is Venezuela’s breadbasket – full of crops like rice, beans, soya and sunflowers. Katy Watson BBC It is also where Venezuela’s staple corn is grown – the raw material for much-loved corn patties or arepas. Imposing metal silos stand tall on the horizon. At a time when people in the country are going hungry, Portuguesa is a strategic part of the economy. But the breadbasket is looking a bit emptier these days. Ronald Lakra and his family ... Read More »

Humanitarian aid arrives in Yemen as coalition allows UN flights

The first shipments of humanitarian aid arrived at Sanaa airport overnight after a weeks-long closure which aid groups said deprived Yemen’s residents of badly needed food and supplies. tvnz On Saturday, the airport received two flights – one from the Red Cross and another from UNICEF. Both carried medical supplies, among them polio vaccines.They also carried UNICEF and Red Cross aid workers. The Saudi-led coalition that has imposed an air, sea and land blockade on war-battered Yemen since November 6 ... Read More »

North Korea drought: Children at risk in ‘worst crisis since 2001’

North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says. BBC Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned. The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit. In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died… North ... Read More »

Somalis are fleeing famine — only to find death in a place of refuge

iN BAIDOA, Somalia — Aftin Noor stepped back from the tiny graves he’d been digging and surveyed his work. Max Bearak  The Washington Post Exhausted, he turned his palms skyward, squinting into the relentless midday sun, and asked God for an answer. “I dug three children’s graves this morning,” said Noor, his voice cracking, his undershirt soaked with sweat. “And I have dug 20 or more this month. Why?” The immediate answer is cholera. The Somalis are fleeing… Read More »

A cry for help: Millions facing famine in Yemen

The UN has warned that 17 million Yemenis will be in famine unless the world sends urgent humanitarian… Al Jazeera Antonio Guterres, the UN chief, issued a call to action on Tuesday at the aid conference held in Geneva where donor countries pledged almost… But UN says the amount is half of what is needed to combat what it is calling “the world’s largest hunger… A cry for… Read More »

Instruments of Pain (II): Conflict and Famine in South Sudan

War in South Sudan led the UN to declare 100,000 people are suffering famine, with a further 5.5 million at… ICG This special briefing urges the country to work harder to establish parameters for a… At the same time, humanitarian corridors from Sudan should be kept open and donors must fully fund the UN aid… Instruments of Pain… Read More »

The sweep of perpetual famine?

The media is presenting us with images of the mother of all famines, stretching from Yemen to Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR) and northern Nigeria. Jonathan Power Arab News There have been bad famines in the not-so-distant past, such as the Ethiopian one in 1985 that triggered rock star Bob Geldof to organize a global popular response. In 1974 at… The sweep of… Read More »

The largest humanitarian crisis since the UN’s creation

UN officials are usually known for their measured and understated approach, even in the face of major crises and upheavals. Yossi Mekelberg Arab News Hence we must take with the utmost gravity the warning by Stephen O’Brien, undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, that “we stand at a critical point in history. Already at the… The largest humanitarian… Read More »