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: January 19, 2018

January 17, 2018

On December 21, parties to South Sudan’s conflict signed a COH, agreeing to cease all military action and to disengage forces across the country by December 24. The 11 signatories also committed to protect civilians and allow unimpeded humanitarian access; the parties are expected to address longer-term security arrangements and governance issues during the High-Level Revitalization Forum scheduled for early 2018.

January 16, 2018

On December 20, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)-led Coalition announced it would reopen access to Yemen’s Al Hudaydah Port for commercial shipments, including fuel, for a 30-day period. The Coalition had closed Yemen’s Red Sea ports, including Al Hudaydah and Al Saleef, on November 6 after the KSA intercepted a missile launched by Al Houthi forces toward the KSA’s capital city of Riyadh. Since the announcement, the Coalition’s Evacuation and Humanitarian Operations Cell (EHOC) has allowed several commercial food and fuel ships to enter the Red Sea ports.

January 8, 2018

On December 21, Nigeria’s Borno State Commissioner of Health announced the end of the state’s cholera outbreak after more than two weeks with no new recorded cholera cases. Health officials recorded nearly 5,400 suspected and confirmed cholera cases, including 61 related deaths, between mid-August and December 17. Preventive health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions remain ongoing in affected areas.

December 18, 2017

Violence and insecurity continue to result in civilian casualties and hinder humanitarian operations in northeastern Nigeria. A December 2 person-borne improvised explosive device (PBIED) attack killed at least 13 civilians in Borno State’s town of Bui, while a November 28 attack on a team of health workers forced the suspension of vaccination activities in Borno’s Gubio Local Government Area (LGA).

December 13, 2017

On November 4, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) intercepted a missile launched by Al Houthi forces toward the KSA’s capital city of Riyadh, prompting the KSA to temporarily close all of Yemen’s air, land, and sea ports on November 6. Although the KSA officially reopened the ports in late November, the KSA-led Coalition has only cleared a limited number of commercial and humanitarian shipments to enter Yemen’s Red Sea ports. No fuel vessels have been allowed to enter Red Sea ports since November 6, resulting in sharp fuel price increases and forcing at least five major cities to shut down fuel-reliant water supply systems.

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