Thousands face starvation in Sudan

Thousands of people face starvation across Sudan as malnutrition rates climb to levels close to the disaster year of 1998 when famine swept key regions of the country.

    The UN does not want a repeat of the 1998 situation

    The World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday said an already difficult situation due to the decades-old civil war and drought had been made worse by devastating floods in a largely agricultural region east of the capital Khartoum.

    But the agency’s capacity to help was limited by a poor response to an appeal it launched in April to international donors for $130 million to help 3.2 million people in Sudan, said WFP officials.

    So far only $40 million has been received, which meant some food rations to people in need might have to be cut back.

    Up to 32 percent of the population in parts of the south were suffering from malnutrition.

    The floods from the River Gash which have swept through the town of Kassala, 450 km from the capital, and left two-thirds of its 500,000 population homeless, had increased the need for emergency food supplies.

    WFP officials said they were moving stocks of food to Kassala area to help the most vulnerable people, especially children, but relief teams were unable to reach many areas because road had been impassable by the waters.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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