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Red Cross fears ‘enormous suffering’ in 2023

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The ICRC cited Somalia as a country of particular concern./AFP
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Dec 15, 2022 - 07:56 AM

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Wednesday “an enormous level of suffering” awaits the world in 2023 with famine spreading.

Mirjana Spoljaric, who took over at the ICRC in October, told a Geneva press conference: “We expect an enormous level of suffering.

“As the world is trending at the moment we don’t see any easing of the humanitarian pressures, they will be immense potentially,” she said.

“There is a possibility that we will see very high levels of hunger in many parts of the world and insecurity in general.”

Not only will prices be high for food, it will “simply not be available in the same amounts due to a lack of fertilisers and due to, again, the impact of climate change.”

She cited Somalia as a country of particular concern.

“In our four hospitals we have seen a tenfold increase of wounds caused by violence, violent, armed violence, conflict and we are also witnessing a three fold increase of malnutrition in children.

“The situation is extremely alarming,” Spoljaric said, adding her next trip would be to the Horn of Africa were some 20 million people are suffering from malnutrition.

The ICRC is seeking 2.8 billion euros for next year, up on last year’s 2.4 billion.

But the ICRC chief said it might not be enough, “depending on how the situation evolves”.

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