New York, May 22, 2019 -- Action Against Hunger, the world's nonprofit hunger specialist, today renewed calls for the United Nations to live up to the words of Resolution 2417, which condemns using hunger as a weapon of war or unlawfully denying humanitarian access to civilians in need of aid. The UN Security Council unanimously passed the landmark resolution one year ago, but conflict remains the leading cause of acute hunger worldwide.
While climate change and drought play a role, the eight most serious hunger crises in the world are in conflict-affected countries – Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, and Nigeria – where nearly 72 million people face acute food insecurity.
"This is a matter of life and death for millions. The Security Council must do more to reach civilians who are trapped in conflict situations," said Shashwat Saraf, Action Against Hunger's Country Director in Nigeria. "We not only need unfettered access to meet humanitarian needs, but also to collect data that is essential to understanding the scope of crises and planning coordinated and effective responses. The world needs an effective way to break the cycle between hunger and conflict, and the Security Council plays a critical role in our collective efforts to create it. Too many lives are at stake."
In remarks to be delivered at the UN today, Action Against Hunger emphasized the vital role of the Security Council, and called on it to advocate for member states to uphold international humanitarian law, support governments in ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access in conflict zones, hold countries accountable if they don't move swiftly enough, and minimize the unintended consequences that sanctions and counter-terrorism measures can have on vulnerable civilians.
"The global community also has a moral obligation to act in situations where data is unavailable, but there are credible reasons to believe that millions of people are in desperate need of assistance," Dr. Charles Owubah, CEO of Action Against Hunger, said. "The world can't wait until famine is officially declared to help people in places where famine is likely."
Emily Tyree, Associate Director of Communications