(Newsroom America) -- If nothing is done soon, 20 million people will starve to death over the next six months in South Sudan, Somalia, north-eastern Nigera and Yemen, the Food and Agricultural Organization warned.
Addressing the opening of the 165th session of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome, Directory-General José Graziano da Silva cautioned that famine – which is threatening those countries as a result of drought and ongoing conflict – will leave many dead and rip apart societies.
“Famine does not just kill people. It contributes to social instability and also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and aid dependency that endures for decades,” Mr. de Silva told the FAO Council.
Comprised of 49 elected countries, the FAO Council convenes between sessions to provide advice and oversight related to programs and the budget.
As part of the week-long Council, members will be briefed on the extent of the conditions in the countries facing famine, and in the case of South Sudan, where famine has already been declared in parts of the country.
Mr. de Silva also cautioned about family farmers and rural communities in the Lake Chad Basin, where people feel “hopeless” as they struggle with the impacts of climate change, related droughts, and the lack of public investment and opportunities for youth.
“If we do not support these people, they will have no option other than to join local militias or movements of distress migration,” the Director-General said.