- Published on Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:27
Paris, February 23rd, 2017
“States fail at dealing with the causes of these human tragedies and injustices. All they have left is the power to address the consequences. It is important to bear in mind there is still time to save lives by acting immediately,” says Jean-Yves Troy, General Director of NGO SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL.
The humanitarian NGO SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL calls upon individual donors and international institutions to mobilise and urgently halt this spiral.
Famine has just been declared in South Sudan. Some 5 million people need food aid. 100,000 are directly in mortal danger.
Hammered by years of conflict and drought, more than 20 million people are endangered by the same threat in Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. These forgotten conflicts and crises are taking place in countries where the humanitarian response and funding are way below the actual needs and the level of suffering of civilian populations.
Present in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s teams take action as close as possible to the needs of populations, to provide an emergency response and anticipate crises. Ensuring access to drinking water, is one of the key elements to treat malnutrition.
Nigeria: a nutritional disaster
In north-east Nigeria, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is equipping its malnutrition treatment centres to fight the famine that is affecting 1.8 million people in the state of Borno alone. Violent combat between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram has affected 17 million people. Among them, 7 million are at risk of famine in the north-east of the country and the Lake Chad basin.
“These astounding figures illustrate the huge needs. Despite the several nutritional disaster and famine alerts, the United Nations’ calls for donations for Nigeria raised only 250 million dollars in 2016", explains Thierry Benlahsen, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL Emergency Manager. Participants at the annual conference for the region’s donors have to take significant action to address what is threatening to be the worse crisis in years. An estimated 1.5 billion dollars will be necessary to stop the trend and provide for the needs of Nigeria and countries from the Lake Chad basin. As for Yemen or Burundi, they remain ignored today."
South Sudan: more than half the population needs food assistance
In South Sudan, where we provide access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation to thousands of displaced people, our emergency response teams have been ceaselessly sounding the alarm.
“4.9 million people are suffering from food insecurity, three months before the end of the hunger gap,” says Catherine Hiltzer, Manager of operations in the region.
Somalia: the same signs as before the 2011 famine
In Somalia, the situation today shows a lot of similarities with the famine that killed 250,000 people in the Horn of Africa in 2011. “In these countries where humanitarian staff face really harsh access conditions because of ongoing conflict, funding sorely lacks and is way below the actual needs of population. Our teams observe massive population displacements within the country. Entire families gather around wells where water is most available, near the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders. However, resources being already rare in these meeting points, they are also strongly impacted. Neighbouring countries are struggling to escape from their own droughts. Kenyan authorities have thus declared the state of emergency on 10th February, after multiple scarce rain seasons. Important population influxes are expected from bordering countries already affected by the same phenomenon. Our teams are taking action, notably in the most affected areas."
Yemen: a quarter of the population on the verge of famine
In Yemen, where our teams are preparing an intervention, 2 years of war have brought more than a quarter of country’s population, 7 million people, to the edge of famine.
Today more than ever, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL reminds all stakeholders involved in these conflicts the absolute necessity to maintain safe access to endangered populations, in order for our teams to not risk their lives to provide relief that is independent from any political agenda, to all vulnerable populations. To all, without exception.
Tugdual de Dieuleveult