Fighting Famine

Fighting Famine

Photo: AFP PHOTO /

Tens of millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of man-made crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen - all of which are driven by violent conflict - and Somalia, where ongoing conflict is compounding the effects of severe and prolonged drought. These crises are forcing people to flee within and beyond their country borders, disrupting agricultural production and livelihoods, and severing families from their social support systems. Ongoing violence - including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers - continues to prevent aid from reaching those most in need.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises. The assistance we provide includes: emergency food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, life-saving medical care, and shelter for those who have been displaced, both internally and as refugees, as well as protection for civilians. The United States is also supporting health, sanitation and hygiene services to help stop the spread of preventable disease - a leading cause of death during food crises.

Our assistance represents the best of America's generosity and goodwill, while improving our national security by strengthening relationships with nations and people around the world. We will continue to work with our international and local partners to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine and to support surrounding countries, mitigating the impact of these crises.

Last updated: December 07, 2017

December 7, 2017

Persistent attacks against civilians are a major concern for humanitarian organizations. During the week of November 19, media reported that violence in Nigeria’s Adamawa State resulted in the deaths of 90 people, including an attack on November 21 in Adamawa’s town of Mubi that resulted in nearly 60 deaths, as well as an armed group attempt to gain control of Borno State’s Magumeri town that resulted in the deaths of at least three civilians on November 25.

December 5, 2017

Clashes among armed groups continue to endanger civilians and limit humanitarian access in South Sudan. On November 28, intercommunal violence in Jonglei State resulted in the death of at least 45 civilians, including six people working for two non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and injured nearly 20 other civilians, the UN reports.

November 30, 2017

Approximately 3.3 million people in Somalia are experiencing Crisis—IPC 3—or worse levels of acute food insecurity, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported in November.4 FEWS NET and the USAID-supported Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) caution that parts of Somalia will remain at risk of Famine—IPC 5—through at least May 2018. Households across Somalia have reduced access to food and income following three consecutive poor rainy seasons, which resulted in below-average agricultural production and large-scale livestock losses, in addition to ongoing conflict.

November 13, 2017

The Government of Nigeria (GoN) Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD), in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN World Food Program (WFP), and other relief agencies, recently released an updated Cadre Harmonisé report—a multi-sector food security and nutrition analysis—for 16 Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory.

November 6, 2017

UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Mark Lowcock traveled to Yemen from October 23–27 to meet with Republic of Yemen Government (RoYG) officials in the city of Aden and Al Houthi officials in the capital city of Sana’a. ERC Lowcock encouraged greater coordination of humanitarian activities and urged parties to the conflict to ameliorate Yemen’s challenging operational environment, particularly bureaucratic impediments and disruptions to humanitarian operations.

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