We are entering an age of famine. But the extreme food crises facing South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Northern Nigeria are not solely a consequence of natural disaster or climate change. Rather, people are starving to death because other people with the power to prevent these deaths are failing to act.
In a joint press conference last month, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the UN would need $4.4 billion by the end of March in order to tackle all of these crises. That money is not coming — putting some 20 million people at risk of facing famine conditions — but even if the UN had all the money it needed for humanitarian relief, that would not be enough. Political solutions to the current conflicts are what is needed.
In South Sudan, according to World Food Program spokesperson Steve Taravella, some 100,000 people are facing starvation. The country is also the site of the third largest displacement in the world, with almost 2 million people internally displaced and over 1.5 million who fled as refugees.