Regional Spotlight: Fighting Famine in Africa and Yemen

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Valerie Guarnieri
Regional Director for East and Central Africa, World Food Program

Mamta Murthi
Director of Operations and Strategy, Africa Region, World Bank Group

Poonam Gupta
Country Program Coordinator for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti, World Bank Group


Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

The IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) – the global body for classifying the severity and magnitude of food insecurity – has formally declared a famine in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, and Yemen, a humanitarian emergency putting more than 20 million people at risk of starvation. The famine crises stem from a disastrous combination of years of prolonged conflict in the region, collapsing economies, and climate change-driven droughts. Multilateral institutions and aid groups have launched emergency humanitarian programs to combat hunger and disease, but the international community has generally been slow to respond. What can the international community do to speed up a collective and coordinated response to this current crises and how can the humanitarian-development divide be bridged to prevent such crises in the future?