Press Briefing on Humanitarian Crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

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ORIGINAL 22-Feb-2017 00:38:48
Secretary-General António Guterres briefs journalists on humanitarian crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. He is joined by Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Stephen O’Brien, Emergency Relief Coordinator; and Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), who joined the briefing by video conference.
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Sounding the alarm on behalf of more than 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and north-east Nigeria facing devastating levels of food insecurity, Secretary-General António Guterres joined other top United Nations officials today calling for “strong and urgent” action from the international community to help the already-fragile countries avert catastrophe.

“Famine is already a reality in parts of South Sudan. Unless we act now, it is only a matter of time until it affects other areas and other countries. We are already facing a tragedy; we must avoid it becoming a catastrophe,” said the Secretary-General, stressing: “This is preventable if the international community takes decisive action.”

Briefing the press at UN Headquarters in New York alongside the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark, and by video conference, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin, Mr. Guterres said the UN needs at least $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe.

“Despite some generous pledges, just $90 million has actually been received so far – around two cents for every dollar needed. We are at the beginning of the year, but these numbers are very worrying,” he said: “The lives of millions of people depend on our collective ability to act. In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for inaction or indifference.”
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