By Biodun Busari
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) German-partner organisation has disclosed that refugees around the world including Africa are facing food shortages emanating from the Russia-Ukraine war.
According to UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, Monday, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and droughts are worsening humanitarian crises like the one in Yemen.
The organisation said migrants and internally displaced people as well as host populations who take those groups in will suffer most from food shortages and hunger.
“In the Horn of Africa alone, which is currently experiencing the worst drought in 40 years, an estimated 18.4 million people are suffering from acute hunger,” the German partner organization of the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.
According to InfoMigrants, over 1.5 million people seeking protection are also in urgent need of help.
It also highlighted the horrible situation in Yemen, where a civil war has been raging for almost eight years now, causing the already unbalanced economy to collapse and leaving 80% of the population dependent on aid.
The civil war has made the United Nations call Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
It said that failed grain deliveries and rising food prices have been making the difficult situation worse: 17.4 million people, or more than half of Yemen’s entire population, are on the brink of famine, according to UN refugee relief. Among them are 3.8 million internally displaced people and refugees.
The Yemeni civil war, opposing the Saudi-backed government against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly.
The non-governmental organisation noted that the coronavirus pandemic, ongoing droughts and the war in Ukraine, where Russia has been blocking vital grain exports, are considered the main reasons for the food scarcity in Yemen.
“In Germany, we feel global delivery shortages and food scarcities when sunflower oil and wheat flour temporarily disappear from supermarket shelves — but for many refugees and IDPs in especially crisis-ridden regions, they are a matter of survival,” said Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer, managing director of the UN refugee relief.
The current situation could also create a breeding ground for new conflicts and displacement, Ruhenstroth-Bauer added.
“During the past four months, ordinary Yemenis have experienced the longest period of calm in the country in over seven years,” the aid groups said in a joint statement. “Since the truce entered into force on April 2, reports of civilian casualties have dropped significantly.”