• Millions of people are at increased risk of famine or catastrophe in South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.
FEWSnet, an international early warning system, stated that South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia could be looking at famine or catastrophic levels of food insecurity in various parts of their countries in the new year due to climate change, conflict and political instability.
• Children are the worst hit, with their health and development drastically impacted. Already, too many children are going hungry. More than 15 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia are struggling to have enough to eat. 5.5 million children in Ethiopia,
Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia are projected to be malnourished. Already, more than 1 million children under age 5 are expected to be severely malnourished and at risk of death by the end of 2017 without urgent action.
Increased hunger will drive ever younger girls into early marriage, and force children out of school, into child labour and into other dangerous ways of surviving.
• Children are on the move. The hunger crisis is exacerbated by drought, conflict and political instability and is forcing people to flee areas affected by conflict, where children are at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse. 4 million people in South Sudan have been displaced, both as refugees and internally. In Somalia, 1.9 million have been displaced, both as refugees and within the country; in Ethiopia, more than 1 million have been displaced internally.
• Large-scale, long-term lifesaving assistance is needed to avoid spikes in malnutrition and death. World Vision is appealing for an additional $68 million to increase its response across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.