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20m people going hungry, says UN chief in plea for £3.5bn to avoid 'catastrophe'

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has said the UN needs 4.4 billion dollars (£3.5 billion) by the end of next month to prevent "a catastrophe" of hunger and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.

Just 90 million dollars (£72 million) has been collected so far.

Mr Guterres said more than 20 million people altogether are going hungry in those countries.

Amplifying concerns that other UN officials expressed recently, Mr Guterres said the world "is facing a tragedy" and "must avoid it becoming a catastrophe".

Children's agency Unicef warned on Tuesday that almost 1.4 million children are at "imminent risk of death" from acute malnutrition this year in the four countries.

Famine was declared on Monday in parts of South Sudan's Unity state.

Mr Guterres said he believes governments and other donors will step up financially to help.


From Belfast Telegraph