Famine and Food Crises

In 2002 in Zambia, a boy (left) holds a wild fruit known as 'metu' while another boy (centre) cracks a 'mungogo' nut with a stone, in the district of Kalomo in Southern Province.

No child should die of starvation in 2017.

An estimated 7.5 million children will suffer severe acute malnutrition this year. 

In 2017, famine has been declared in the northern-central region of South Sudan, where violent conflict, climate shock and soaring inflation have destroyed the world's newest country's agriculture-based economy. Nearly 5 million people — 42 percent of the population — are suffering from severe food shortages. And that number is projected to rise to 5.5 million before the end of the year.

More than 7 million people risk starvation in Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency-hit northeastern region and around Lake Chad. Over 2.5 million children are at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and 9 other countries across Africa and the Middle East.

"Malnutrition is a silent threat to millions of children," said UNICEF director of emergency programs Manuel Fontaine. "The damage it does can be irreversible, robbing children of their mental and physical potential. In its worst form, severe malnutrition can be deadly." 

This year, UNICEF will treat 3.1 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Help us reach the most vulnerable in their time of need.  

Fast Fact