Ethiopia put atop
The Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS -- Hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hot spots in the next three months with the highest alerts for "catastrophic" situations in Ethiopia's Tigray region, southern Madagascar, Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria, two U.N. agencies warned Friday.
The Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program said in a new report on "Hunger Hotspots" between August and November that "acute food insecurity is likely to further deteriorate."
They put Ethiopia at the top of the list, saying the number of people facing starvation and death is expected to rise to 401,000 -- the highest number since the 2011 famine in Somalia -- if humanitarian aid isn't provided quickly.
In southern Madagascar, which has been hit by the worst drought in the past 40 years, pests affecting staple crops and rising food prices, 14,000 people are expected to be pushed into "catastrophic" acute hunger marked by starvation and death by September. And that number is expected to double by the end of the year with 28,000 people needing urgent help, the two agencies said.
In a report in May, 16 organizations said that at least 155 million people faced acute hunger in 2020, including 133,000 who needed urgent food to prevent widespread death from starvation, a 20 million increase from 2019.
"Overall, over 41 million people worldwide are now at risk of falling into famine or famine-like conditions, unless they receive immediate life and livelihood-saving assistance," the report stated.
The two Rome-based agencies called for urgent humanitarian action to save lives in the 23 hot spots, saying help is especially critical in the five highest-alert places to prevent famine and death.
The deterioration is mostly driven by conflict and effects from the pandemic, including "food price spikes, movement restrictions that limit market and pastoralists activities alike, rising inflation, decreased purchasing power, and an early and prolonged lean season" for crops, they said.
The groups said South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria remain at the highest alert level, joined for the first time by Ethiopia, because of Tigray, and southern Madagascar.
apologizes to Poles
The Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland -- Germany's center-right candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor in the September election said he feels "deep shame and humility" over Nazi Germany's "crimes" against the Poles during World War II.
Armin Laschet spoke to Poland's daily Rzeczpospolita, excerpts of which were published Saturday, ahead of full publication Monday.
Laschet said he had a personal urge to attend the weekend anniversary observances in Warsaw of the city's ill-fated 1944 revolt against Nazi German occupation that began in 1939.
"The crimes that the Germans committed against the whole Polish nation fill me with deep shame and humility," Laschet said.
"This responsibility will determine our policy toward Poland also in the future," said Laschet, who leads Merkel's Christian Democrats party, and who is the front-runner in the polls.
"Germany must always be aware of its historical responsibility for Poland's freedom and independence," Laschet said.
Germany was a great advocate of Poland's joining the European Union in 2004 and is attentive to the current rule-of-law conflicts between the right-wing Polish government in Warsaw and the EU's leading bodies.
Laschet visited a monument to the children who fought in the Warsaw Rising and attended a Mass and a roll-call ceremony, where Polish President Andrzej Duda gave a speech.
Today, exactly 77 years since the start of Warsaw's two-month devastating struggle against the occupying Nazi German forces, Laschet was to visit the Warsaw Rising Museum. Poland is marking the anniversary with wreath-laying ceremonies, prayers and concerts.
The revolt ended in the surrender of the Polish resistance fighters. Some 10,000 fighters and up to 200,000 residents were killed in the struggle and the German bombings. The Germans expelled the remaining residents, sending many to death camps like Auschwitz, and destroyed the city, believing that it would never rise from the rubble or be Poland's capital again.