The United Nations (UN) has reported that the world is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since 1945. It has issued a plea to all nations to help avoid “a catastrophe”. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, warned that more than 20 million people face the threat of starvation and famine in Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. He stressed there was an urgent need for, “accelerated global efforts to support UN humanitarian action on the ground”. Mr. O’Brien told the UN Security Council: “We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN.”
The UN warned of a bleak future for millions in the affected African countries and Yemen. It said: “Without collective and coordinated global effort people risk starving to death and succumbing to disease with stunted children, lost futures, mass displacements and reversed development gains.” While the natural El Niño weather phenomenon has brought little or no rain, a lot of the problems provoking the crisis are man made. War and conflicts are displacing many in these countries and are preventing efforts to distribute aid. There are reports of aid convoys being attacked. Mr. O’Brien said: “It is possible to avert this crisis, to avert these famines, to avert these terrible human catastrophes. It is all preventable.”
1. TRUE / FALSE: Say whether the sentences below are true (T) or false (F):
2. Mark the correct answer according to the text:
1) What did the UN issue to all nations?
a) a plea b) an ultimatum c) a famine kit d) a warning
2) How many people face the threat of starvation?
a) exactly 20,000,0000 b) around 20 million
c) more than 20 million d) slightly fewer than 20 million
3) Where did the UN say it wanted help for its humanitarian action?
a) in the mountains b) near dry river beds
c) in the desert d) on the ground
4) At what point in history did the UN say were at?
a) the starting point b) a critical point
c) the beginning of the end d) the end of the beginning
5) How many larger crises have there been since the UN was created?
a) 0 b) 1 c) 2 d) 3
6) What kind of future did the UN warn of?
a) a painful one b) a hopeful one
c) a promising one d) a bleak one
7) What did the UN say people risked succumbing to?
a) temptation b) fate
c) disease d) rebel armies
8) What did the UN say was fuelling the crisis, besides El Niño?
a) oil b) man c) global warming d) big business
9) What did the UN say was being attacked?
a) rebels b) villagers c) aid convoys d) electricity plants
10) What did the UN say it was possible to do?
a) raise enough money b) avert the crisis
c) feed all the people d) defeat the rebel armies
3. AID: Rank these items. Put the things the crisis victims need most at the top.