The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that almost 1.4 million children could die from famine this year. Four African countries are on the brink of witnessing a crippling drought this year.
Countries like Nigeria, Yemen have already been affected by intense drought last year. Those who have been looking to provide aid to the needy have been unable to reach them owing to many hurdles on the path.
In Somalia, intense drought has left 185,000 children severely at the risk of malnourishment. The figure can increase up to 270,000 in the coming months.
In South Sudan, where not only famine but violence has reigned, over 100,000 people are facing starvation. “A formal famine declaration means people have already started dying of hunger. The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted more than three years ago,” a statement read.
Attributing the current condition to droughts can be misleading as the result is predominantly man-made. More than three years of war have left millions bereft of shelter and food. On top of that, the emergence of violent extremist groups like Boko Haram has spelled doom for reach of any political assistance in these countries.
“The convergence of evidence shows that the long-term effects of the conflict coupled with high food prices, economic crisis, low agricultural production and depleted livelihood options have resulted in 4.9 million people going hungry,” Isaiah Chol Aruai, chairman of South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Earlier this year, United States President Donald Trump announced an immigration policy which effectively banned immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen were among the listed countries in the travel ban.