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WFP: Yemen faces ‘looming famine’

As Yemen Food Crisis Deteriorates, UN Agencies Appeal For Urgent Assistance To Avert A Catastrophe
Nov. 12 (UPI) — World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley warned the U.N. Security Council of the “looming famine” in war-torn Yemen amid the coronavirus pandemic, urging nations to donate nearly $2 billion to avert the impending crisis.”We are on a countdown right now to a catastrophe in Yemen,” he said on Wednesday during the U.N. Security Council consultation on the Middle Eastern country. “The people have been ravaged by years of conflict-fueled hunger and malnutrition. Now, there’s a toxic combination taking place of surging violence, a deepening of the economic and currency collapse and COVID-19 is ratcheting up the misery to a whole new level.”

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Beasley said the world needs to open its eyes to the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in Yemen before it’s too late, and if they turn away, it will collapse into a devastating famine in a number of months.

The civil war, which began in 2015, has displaced some 3.6 million people with an estimated 24.3 million people, or 80% of the country’s population, in need of some sort of assistance, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

Beasley said that Yemen has been on the brink of collapse before in 2018 and 2019, catastrophes that were averted by the help of donors but all the work they have done is now being wiped away and “once again, famine is knocking on the door.”

The head of Nobel Prize-winning organization said they have already needed to cut rations to 9 million people in the country who they support, and come January if they don’t get additional funding they will have to cut rations for an additional 6 million people.

“And we will run completely out in March,” he said. “And I can’t even begin to tell you the catastrophe that will be.”

Beasley said they need authorities to work with them to restore donors’ confidence while needing donors to give more.

“Let me say this very clearly — to avert famine for 2021, we will need $1.9 billion,” he said. “We can’t nickel and dime this to death. We have got to move now and people are going to die if we don’t.”

Via UPI

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