While Europeans and Westerns are worried about the economic crisis created by their own banks, pushing people to hard situations in countries such as Greece, the real struggle is being experienced in Africa and Middle East. More than 20 million people in just four countries are facing famine, which is considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.
In the beginning of the year, the vice secretary general of the UN for humanitarian affairs, Stephen O’Brien, has warned the UN Security Council that without a collective and coordinated global effort “people will simply starve to death” while others “will suffer and die from disease”. To avert a catastrophe, those 20 million people need access to humanitarian aid, for that the UN needs funds that States should proportionate, as it must be in their interests the creation of better conditions for all people.
Children are part of the most vulnerable groups, if they do not get access to food they will suffer of malnutrition and will not be able to attend school, putting in risk their own future, but also the future of their home countries. Children are the future of a country, if they have to pass this suffering while they are young, they will lost their hopes and the social achievements in those countries would be reversed.
Those 20 million people suffering of starvation and famine are in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. In some cases the cause is nature-made, but unfortunately for the majority of the people affected by famine and starvation, this crisis is largely provoked by man-made. These countries have been living long droughts and conflicts, and without any humanitarian aid they are not able to face those atrocities alone.
Nigeria as been affected by the uprising of the Islamic terrorist group Book Haram in the North-East part of the territory. Around 2.6 million Nigerians in that region had to leave their homes in search of safe areas, in order to avoid being attacked by the Book Haram or die due to malnutrition.
Somalia have half of its population in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The drought that affects the country was declared a national disaster, it has provoked many losses of livestocks. Without water and their incomings Somalians are moving to urban centres in search of food and water.
South Sudan, the newest of the four countries as emerged from a civil war. Since then the country was not able to fulfill the basic needs of its population, from which around 7.5 million people need aid. To complicate the already hard situation lived by South Sudans, a cholera outbreak began last summer and is spreading through the country.
Yemen is the new Syria, Sunni muslins are fighting Shiite muslins, supported by external powers, which provokes more destruction. Two-thirds of its population need aid, having no idea when they will have their next meal. The groups involved in the civil war do not co-operate with International Organisations in order to open corridors for international aid. Those groups should be accountable for the harm that are provoking to their own people, by not letting them receive the necessary aid to evict famine.
The new elected UN secretary general, António Guterres, visited some of the areas affected by the drought, saying that $4.4 billion is needed in order to avert a bigger humanitarian crisis. The UN only have 10% of that value, leaving an uncertain future for those people.
While the world faces one of its worst humanitarian crisis the Trump administration is slashing foreign aid. The United States of America are the world’s top emergency donor, but this is about to change if the Congress accepts the proposed cuts. This situation might increase the problems faced by those 20 million people, which can lead to new waves of migration to Europe and possibility more support for Islamic extremist groups.
In a globalised world, what happens in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan or in Yemen will not only affect their neighbours but all the African continent. The worsening of this humanitarian crisis will have consequences for all world. Solutions have been found for many of the challenges faced by the today’s nations, what the world needs now is action from the world leaders in order to promote the Sustainable Development Goals, that all nations have been committed to promote and help.
Every country has their own problems, but some problems are more urgent than others.
An action today will prevent further problems in the near future.