In a “global early warning” report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization lists eight nations with a high risk of hunger and says famine is possible in three of them: Yemen, South Sudan, and Somalia.
The Saudi-led blockade of ports into Yemen "is limiting supplies of fuel, food and medicines," said a senior UN official in the country. "The lives of millions of people, including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine, hinge on our ability to continue our operations and to provide health, safe water, food, shelter and nutrition support." The statement by humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick follows an assessment by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) that there is a credible risk of famine in 2018 in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.
An estimated 80 percent of Yemen's food supply arrives by boat, so the recent closure of its ports makes famine a likelihood across the country, says the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. Meanwhile, the UN says that warfare and climate change are driving up hunger rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
Drought is depriving millions of Somalis of enough to eat, the nation's president said in an appeal for international aid. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network, created by the USAID, said famine is possible in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, all in East Africa. Armed conflict has aggravated the effects of drought.
Infestations of the Desert locust have been found on the southern coast of Yemen, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, describing the insects as a force of nature when the adults gather in swarms that ride with the wind. "A very small swarm eats the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people," says FAO.