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UN for First Time Links Conflict to Famine in Four Countries

Mahama Refugees
Mahama Refugees

The U.N. Security Council for the first time is linking conflict to the threat of famine facing more than 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northeast Nigeria.

The council said in a presidential statement Wednesday that it "deplores" that some unnamed parties have blocked vital food and humanitarian aid getting to people in the four countries.

Council members stressed that conflicts and violence "have devastating humanitarian consequences ... and are therefore a major cause of famine" in the four countries.

The Security Council commended donors for providing humanitarian assistance in response to the four crises but said additional resources and funding are needed "to pull people back from the brink of famine."

According to the U.N., only $2.5 billion of the $4.9 billion needed has been received.