The United Nations World Food Progam (WFP) warned that millions of Sudanese face acute hunger due to continuing civil war and worsening drought, according to a press report published last week by the agency.
In an urgent plea, the agency appealed for US$135 million to feed 2.9 million people in both government and rebel-held areas of the country until the end of the year.
Last month a joint WFP and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report confirmed that erratic rains severely affected the crop production in 2000 with serious food and water shortages emerging in a number of districts.
"We have a looming crisis on our hands," said Masood Hyder, WFP’s Representative in Sudan. "Our biggest fear is that if our call for food isn’t answered immediately, the situation could deteriorate rapidly," he said.
"The logistics and distribution systems are in place, but our food warehouses are almost empty."
Working closely with the Government and NGOs, WFP has already responded to the crisis by stepping up food deliveries through food for work activities and school feeding programs in the north. In the south, emergency food distributions continue.
In Eastern Equatoria as well as in parts of Bahr el Ghazal and Jonglei malnutrition is rising. Poor rains have only been sufficient for a partial re-growth of pasture and herders are moving their already weakened cattle to graze as far as 100 kilometers away. Cattle are dying en route, but more worryingly, mothers and children left behind have no access to their staple diet of milk and blood.
In the war affected areas fighting has exacerbated the drought. Hunger is expected to be worst in the 1998 famine zones of Bahr el Ghazal and in Upper Nile where the conflict continues – Albawaba.com