Griffiths to Asharq Al-Awsat: Climate, Conflict and Cost-of-living Threaten Worlds Poorest

Asharq Al-Awsat has asked Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths about the three biggest threats the worlds poorest collectively face. His answer was: Climate, conflict and cost-of-living. And theyre all connected.

When asked about double standards in refugee treatment, the UN official told the newspaper in an interview conducted via email that the United Nations welcomed the swift and generous European response to the plight of Ukrainian refugees. This is how it should be for all refugees, all of whom need access to asylum, without discrimination. As UNHCR has repeatedly stressed, respecting refugee rights is a legal and moral obligation, and it should never be contingent on nationality.

On fighting poverty, he said: It is becoming more expensive to buy and transport the assistance, meaning our aid reach fewer people, or people get less aid, or both.

Here's the full text of the interview:

The UN has issued repeated warnings of food shortages. What countries are most at risk of rising levels of hunger?

This year, food security prospects are alarmingly bad and getting worse in many parts of the world. In the highest-alert countries - Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen - three quarters of a million people are just one step away from the ultimate catastrophic situation, a famine.

They are not the only ones at risk. The number of acutely food insecure people has jumped to a new high of 345 million people in ....

read more from