£3.5bn needed to avoid catastrophic Sudanese famine but just £74m collected, UN

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has said the UN needs £3.5 billion by the end of next month to prevent "a catastrophe" of hunger and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.

Just £72 million has been collected so far.

Mr Guterres said more than 20 million people altogether are going hungry in those countries.

Amplifying concerns that other UN officials expressed recently, Mr Guterres said the world "is facing a tragedy" and "must avoid it becoming a catastrophe".

Children’s agency Unicef warned on Tuesday that almost 1.4 million children are at "imminent risk of death" from acute malnutrition this year in the four countries.

Famine was declared on Monday in parts of South Sudan’s Unity state.

Mr Guterres said he believes governments and other donors will step up financially to help.

His comments come just hours after Pope Francis demanded concrete action to get food aid to famine victims in South Sudan, saying words are not enough to prevent millions from being condemned to death by hunger.

His appeal came a day after South Sudan President Salva Kiir promised "unimpeded access" for all aid organisations to reach the hungry.

South Sudan has repeatedly promised such access but with little effect.

Pope Francis said: "At this time it’s more necessary than ever for everyone to not just stop with words, but to take concrete action so that food aid can reach suffering populations."

The UN earlier this week declared a famine in parts of oil-rich Unity state, saying more than 100,000 people are affected and that one million more are on the brink of starvation. 

 

Reporting: PA and AP


Related Articles

Too much smoking left Great Famine victims with rotten teeth, study suggests

Irish women's fight against slavery during the Great Famine

Revenge as cold comfort in new movie about the Irish famine

More in this Section

Bill Cosby denied bail while he appeals against sex assault conviction

Boulder smashes through bedroom wall amid rockfall in UK

UK sailor Susie Goodall back on dry land after ocean ordeal

Theresa May's Brexit deal 'dead in the water', says Jeremy Corbyn


Lifestyle

Lindsay Woods: At a time of year when the pace is frenzied and days are full of school plays and deadlines, the chance to break from routine is a welcome one

On the red carpet: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and Cheryl

Raise a glass to Christmas festivities

The best festive desserts to try out this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner