245 - Famine in Africa millions of people starving
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Famine in Africa: millions of people starving

A number of countries in Africa are facing mass hunger on an unimaginable scale because of famine that has struck them with no signs of ending soon. One such country is South Sudan where tens of thousands are tragically starving and millions more struggle to find food on a daily basis. Nigeria and Somalia are also experiencing this life threatening menace where people are struggling to feed themselves and their children. The worst thing? The famine in Africa is all man-made!

Millions of people are starving in Africa

In February, the United Nations estimated that 100,000 South Sudanese were starving. Five million people (that’s almost half the country’s population) have such limited access to food that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Aid agencies fear the situation for the South Sudanese could be much worse now.

South Sudan isn’t the only African country in the face of mass starvation. A historical famine is also threatening millions of people in Nigeria and Somalia. Hardly mentioned in the Western media, there are an estimated 15 million people in those three countries who are at risk of dying because of a lack of food; starvation.

The UN has already officially declared a full-fledged famine in some parts of South Sudan and warned that the other two countries would also suffer mass casualties from food and water shortages if “prompt and sustained humanitarian intervention” doesn’t happen soon.

In the past, a famine in Africa was usually caused by natural disasters like crop failures or droughts. These current famines are human-made. They are the direct result of the devastating wars and insurgencies raging in all three countries. While the upshot is that the current famines are within human power to stop, it is heart-breaking to realize they potentially could have been prevented. Unfortunately, ending a war is not easy.

The civil war in South Sudan has left millions on the brink of starvation, and it shows no signs of ending anytime soon. In Nigeria, a violent insurgency by the extremist group Boko Haram has created a growing humanitarian disaster. Since the group declared war on the country’s government in 2009, the agricultural systems in particular areas have completely collapsed because of the continued fighting. The UN estimates that about five million people are in immediate need of food assistance.

Further East in Somalia, which has a long history of civil war and hunger, risks suffering its second famine of the past five years alone. Half of the twelve million Somalis are in need food aid, according to the UN. Much of the country is still under control by the militant group al-Shabaab. The ongoing conflict between the government and the al-Qaeda-affiliated group has devastated the economy and made it almost impossible to bring aid into the country.

The bottom line is that this famine might turn into the world’s worst humanitarian disaster since World War II, while also being entirely preventable by the human race.

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