UN humanitarian chief asks G7 leaders to prevent manmade famine

United Nations, June 13 (IANS) UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, has called on G7 leaders to prevent manmade famine on the eve of the G7 summit in Italy.

“Famine in the 21st century is a preventable scourge. G7 leaders can and must wield their influence to help stop it. Waiting for an official declaration of famine before acting would be a death sentence for hundreds of thousands of people and a moral outrage,” said Griffiths on Wednesday in a statement.

Conflict is fueling hunger in too many corners of the world. But nowhere is the choice between inaction and oblivion so clear as in Gaza and Sudan, he added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

In Gaza, half of the population, or more than one million people, is expected to face death and starvation by mid-July; in Sudan, at least five million people are also teetering on the brink of starvation; in both Gaza and Sudan, intense fighting, unacceptable restrictions and meagre funding are preventing aid workers from delivering assistance necessary to prevent mass starvation, he said.

Griffiths asked G7 countries to immediately use their substantial political leverage and financial resources so that aid organisations can reach all people in need.

“But more than anything, the world must stop feeding the war machines that are starving the civilians of Gaza and Sudan. It is time instead to prioritise the diplomacy that will give people back their futures. And tomorrow, the G7 is at the helm,” he said.

–IANS

int/khz

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