Speed Reading — Humanitarian Crisis - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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The U.N. has warned the world is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since 1945. It issued a plea for all nations to help avoid "a catastrophe". U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said over 20 million people face the threat of starvation in Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. He stressed there was an urgent need for, "accelerated global efforts to support U.N. humanitarian action on the ground". He added: "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 U.N."

The U.N. warned of misery for millions in the affected countries. It said: "Without collective…global efforts…people risk starving to death." It warned of disease, of children with stunted growth, of "lost futures, mass displacements and reversed development gains". The El Niño weather phenomenon has brought little rain, but a lot of the problems are man made. Conflicts are displacing many people. There are reports of aid convoys being attacked. Mr O'Brien said: "It is possible to avert this crisis, to avert these famines…these looming human catastrophes. It is all preventable."

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