GPC Briefing Note | Four Famines

More than 20 million people across four countries risk facing starvation and water shortages within six months. Wars in Yemen, north-eastern Nigeria and South Sudan have devastated livelihoods and collapsed economies, with famine already declared a reality in parts of South Sudan. Conflict and violence in all four countries have impeded physical and economic access to food, particularly as a result of the disruption of livelihoods and markets, as well as distorted access to land and employment. These conditions have further fuelled internal displacement with a spill over effect to neighbours countries.

Evidence and lessons learnt from the past show that assistance activities constitute a direct complement to protection and vice versa. International law requires humanitarian action to include both the protection of the affected population and their assistance and relief in order to work effectively towards the overall objective of protecting life, health and ensuring respect and dignity for the crisis-affected people.

It is thus essential to ensure that key protection concerns are kept at the forefront of all humanitarian interventions and that response to the looming and existing famine include actions that prevent negative coping mechanisms and reduces risks experienced by vulnerable groups.

The GPC briefing note provides an analysis of protection risks and concerns in all four countries. Collective, concerted and coordinated efforts are of utmost importance in the famine response. 

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