WFP: Major Food Crisis Looms in Sudan
The United Nations World Food Program warned on Thursday that as many as three million Sudanese were threatened by hunger because of drought and conflict and expressed alarm that the situation continued to worsen.
As war and drought-induced hunger sweeps mercilessly across the country, WFP said it will run out of food by mid April. Already, food distribution in many parts has been scaled back to make existing supplies stretch.
"Without new and substantial assistance from the international community, food supplies will run out and we will face a crisis of enormous proportions whose severity could be comparable to previous famine situations in the region," said Masood Hyder, WFP Representative in Sudan, quoted in a press release by the organization on Thursday.
"This year is different," Hyder added "Parts of the country are experiencing the driest season in living memory, affecting 600,000 people. At the same time, 2.4 million people continue to urgently need assistance due to the ongoing civil war. If we do not receive urgent funding, there will be mass population movements, widespread malnutrition, and worse."
WFP is greatly concerned that its food stocks will run out at the same time as Sudan's dry season bites. This is the period known as the "hunger gap," the dry season leading up to the next planting, when food is scarce. WFP is currently preparing appeals to the international community to provide over $100 million dollars in assistance to help the three million affected Sudanese over the next 12 months.
Sudan is in the grip of a worsening drought which has hit both the north and the south with unprecedented severity. Dams are dry, employment opportunities are non-existent, and livestock prices have plummeted. WFP's warehouses are almost empty and the potential for a large-scale disaster is growing.
The situation for the war affected population, mainly women and children, is also disastrous. The humanitarian cease-fires have lapsed, the fighting continues and the food on which they rely in the dry season is about to run out.
"Their needs must be met, otherwise they will die or join the other millions of war displaced in a futile search for food and security," Hyder said – Albawaba.com
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