Ishaan Tharoor writes: The world is in the grip of an astonishing and acute crisis: More than 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, northern Nigeria and Yemen face starvation in the next six months, according to the United Nations. Nearly 1.4 million children are at “imminent risk” of death. The scale of the hunger epidemic was described last month by U.S.-based researchers as “unprecedented in recent decades.”
The crises are in large part man-made, stoked by ruinous conflicts, collapsing governance and international indifference. Only in one country, Somalia, which is recovering from years of war, is drought the main cause of the current food shortages.
“The situation is dire,” warned U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier this week, in a desperate appeal for funds. “We need $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe.” So far, his organization has raised only $90 million, a drop in the bucket. At a time when the Trump administration has already threatened funding cuts to the U.N., the prospects for global relief look dim. [Continue reading…]