South Sudan Declares Famine, Other Countries May Follow Warns UNICEF

DFID said the UK's aid package for Somalia will provide emergency food and safe drinking water for up to a million people, as well as nutritional support for more than 600,000 starving children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

As war and economic challenges ravage the country, almost 100,000 South Sudanese find themselves on the brink of starvation, with an additional 1.1 million approaching famine conditions, according to a report by the U.N. World Food Programme. According to Antonio Guterres, US$ 5.6 billion is needed to aid the situation of many desperate humans, victims of internal conflicts and of climate change impact such as drought and desertification. The beacon of hope in the distressing times is the Department for International Development Fund of United Kingdom, which announced 100 million pound assistance each to South Sudan and Somalia.

In 2017 there is a credible risk of another three famines in Yemen, North East Nigeria and Somalia, said the Department for International Development (DFID).

"Time is running out for more than a million children", UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in statement.

President Salva Kiir's remarks to the transitional national assembly came after the starvation was declared in parts of oil-rich Unity state.

"I want to make it absolutely clear to those who question and doubt our intentions, and to our regional and global partners that the national dialogue initiative we have rolled out is not a trick", said Mr Kiir.

Luma and representatives of two other United Nations agencies - UNICEF and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - issued the starvation declaration at a news conference in Juba, South Sudan's capital, along with Isaiah Chol Aruai, the head of the country's National Bureau of Statistics. In all four countries, we need urgent action to increase emergency funding and ensure greater access for humanitarian agencies so we can get help to all those that desperately need it'. "We are facing a tragedy".

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Tuesday urged foreign investors who fled the war-torn nation to return and boost the fragile economy nearing collapse. The Famine Early Warning System Network, or FEWS NET, said attacks by Boko Haram militants have made it hard to transport food.

"In North-eastern Nigeria, the number of children with severe acute malnutrition is expected to reach 450,000 this year in the conflict-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe".

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