08:37 23 February 2017
$4.4 bil. needed for famine relief in S. Sudan, other nations
NEW YORK, Feb. 22, Kyodo
At least $4.4 billion is needed by the end of March to help more than 20 million people who face the danger of famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday.
At a news conference at U.N. headquarters, he called for "strong and urgent" action from the international community to help the already-fragile countries avert "catastrophe."
"The lives of millions of people depend on our collective ability to act. In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for inaction or indifference," he said.
This year, the United Nations and other organizations aim to help 5.8 million people in South Sudan, over 2 million in northeast Nigeria, 5.5 million in Somalia and 8.3 million in Yemen with food assistance.
The famine threats "all stem from conflict, which we must do much more to prevent and resolve," Guterres said. "Saving lives is the first priority, but we are also looking to build longer-term resilience to shocks."