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UN officials call for urgent action to avert famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and north-east Nigeria

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

March 2017

On 10 March 2017, following country visits, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien urged the international community for comprehensive action to save people facing or at risk of famine. In his address to the Security Council the top United Nations official warned, without collective and global efforts, people risked starving to death and succumbing to disease, stunted children and lost futures, and mass displacements and reversed development gains.

This call to action follows a press briefing on 22 February where UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined other top UN officials to sound the alarm on behalf of 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and north-east Nigeria facing devastating levels of food insecurity. Urging more financial support from member countries, Mr. O’Brien said $4.4 billion is needed by July to avert this disaster.

The appeal for action by the Secretary-General can thus not be understated. It was right to sound the alarm early, not wait for the pictures of emaciated dying children […] to mobilize a reaction and the funds.”

Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Mr O’Brien reemphasized the need for development and humanitarian partners work together to tackle these crises. “We want to help people survive,” he said, “but we also want to help them build more durable solutions so they will not be left in vulnerable situations.”

In Yemen,  the IPC Technical Working Group (IPC TWG) undertook an IPC analysis in late February 2017. 69 analysts from multiple agencies representing different governmental and non-governmental organizations, including UN agencies, resource partners, and NGO partners participated in the process.  The real time IPC Quality Review was led by the IPC Global Support Unit (GSU) and highlights that 17 million people are in need of urgent assistance – 20% increase compared to the results of the last IPC Analysis.

View the IPC ALERT, ISSUE 7, 15 MARCH 2017 (English) and the IPC analysis – Summary of findings (English | Arabic)


  • Main causes 2017Two-page summary by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) English | العَرَبِيَّة‎‎
  • Nigeria: 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan English Summary English
  • Yemen: 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan English Funding status 07/03/17
  • South Sudan: 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan English Operational presence Jan 2017
  • Somalia: 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan English Mapping of Nutrition Activities and Capacity Development Requirements in Somalia Operational presence Feb 2017

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