In 2011, drought struck the Horn of Africa, but the humanitarian response came too late: A quarter of a million people lost their lives in Somalia. Last year, a combination of conflict and drought again threatened millions, but timely humanitarian action by national governments and the international community, including the United States, averted the worst. Warning lights are again flashing across East Africa. It is time for President Trump, the Congress and other world leaders to respond.
I have just returned from South Sudan, one of the front lines of this looming crisis. This is a country where the average age is less than eighteen years old, and children have indeed borne the brunt of more than five years of civil conflict, brutal violence, economic decline, and climate change. There is good news and bad news, but the bottom line is unequivocally clear for those committed to the humanitarian imperative of saving lives. The international community must again prepare to help South Sudanese children and families — and others across the Horn — who don’t have enough food to eat. 2018 threatens to be even more challenging than 2017 …
By late 2017, the number of people on the verge of famine had almost doubled compared to 2016. Last year, one-third of the population was severely food insecure; projections for this year show close to half. That means 5.7 million people will need food and livelihoods support. Officials from World Food Programme told me they were prepositioning supplies in what is their largest operation in the world, but they are worried about having a sufficient pipeline.
Humanitarian agencies such as Save the Children know what is required, use proven methods that can be scaled and have experience working in conflict environments to ensure communities in need are protected and receive the assistance they need.
Read the full article about addressing the hunger crisis in South Sudan by Michael Klosson at Devex International Development.
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