Hunger and famine crises are escalating at several hot spots: in four countries – three in Africa and one in the Middle East – a total of 20 million people, including countless children, are at risk of starvation. These four crisis areas, all suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, are:
Nigeria: The terror unleashed by Boko Haram militants triggered a mass exodus in northeastern Nigeria. When the Nigerian army recaptured the area in 2016, the scale of the refugee and hunger crisis became apparent.
Somalia: Located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia is marked by decades of civil war and anarchy. Now Somalia has been hit by a devastating drought and related famine. This is even more drastic than the 2011-2012 famine.
South Sudan: In the north of South Sudan, famine prevails: on February 2, 2017, the United Nations officially proclaimed a hunger emergency. The country’s civil war, which has been raging for years, leaves fields fallow and blocks aid deliveries.
Yemen: The "poor house" of the Arab world is the only non-African country that is currently threatened by a famine. Since 2015, Yemen has been shaken by a civil war. Hunger is used as a weapon against the civilian population.
One third of children in Africa suffer from the consequences of chronic malnutrition.
In addition, people in many African countries have recently been suffering from the effects of the weather phenomenon El Niño: droughts or torrential rains destroy crops, kill cattle and lead to starvation.
In 2017, 37 countries, including 28 in Africa, depended on food aid, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
These countries are: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, DR Congo [or Democratic Republic of the Congo], Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
But the United Nations lacks the money to provide much-needed aid to millions of hungry people: donations promised by the international community have not yet been made.