urges action to avert famine threatening 20 million
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[August 10, 2017] By
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N.
Security Council on Wednesday called on warring parties in Yemen,
Somalia, South Sudan and northeastern Nigeria to allow humanitarian aid
access and urged countries to donate more money to avert famines
threatening 20 million people.
In a statement drafted by Sweden, the 15-member council expressed
"deep concern that ongoing conflicts and violence have devastating
humanitarian consequences and hinder an effective humanitarian
response in the short, medium and long term, and are therefore a
major cause of famine" in these four countries.
"The Security Council calls upon all parties in Yemen, South Sudan,
Somalia and northeast Nigeria to urgently take steps that would
enable a more effective humanitarian response," the statement said.
The United Nations appealed in February for $4.9 billion to combat
what it calls the largest humanitarian crisis since the world body
was formed more than 70 years ago, but U.N. spokesman Stephane
Dujarric said only 51 percent of that amount has been received.
"These four contexts are very different but one thing is in common -
they are all affected by conflict, they are manmade and also the
humanitarian access is hampered by the ongoing conflict," Sweden's
Deputy U.N. Ambassador Carl Skau told reporters.
The statement also asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to
brief the Security Council in October on impediments to responding
to the risk of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and
northeastern Nigeria and make recommendations on how to overcome any
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said famine was an
issue of peace and security.
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"The Security Council has finally acknowledged the clear link
between conflict and famine," she said in a statement.
Yemen has been embroiled in conflict for several years with
Iran-allied Houthi rebels fighting Yemeni government forces backed
by a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition.
South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013 after President Salva
Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar, while in northeastern Nigeria,
the Islamist militant group Boko Haram is targeting military and
Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords
overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Al
Qaeda-affiliated militant group al Shabaab has since gained a
foothold in the country during the chaos.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by G Crosse)
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