21 Feb 2015

UN: Food Challenge At Worst Level Since World War II

The World Food Program is confronting its worst challenge since World War II in trying to tackle five top-level humanitarian crises at the same time, the head of the U.N. agency said Friday. Ertharin Cousin said in an interview with The Associated Press that the five crises — in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa — currently require large-scale operations by WFP and other humanitarian agencies.

poverty-hungerIn addition, she said, WFP is doing preparatory work for a potential scale-up in food assistance to four other countries where there is growing political instability — Yemen, Nigeria, Ukraine and Libya. Cousin said the demands are overwhelming the donor community and as a result WFP had to cut food assistance to six million Syrians inside and outside the country by 30 percent in January. "We have more crises that require surge operations of the humanitarian community, and WFP specifically, since World War II," she said.