WFP says renewed clashes in Darfur threaten food security

New York, US (PANA) - The Sudan Country Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP),
Mr. Adnan Khan, on Tuesday said that the new wave of violence in Sudan’s Darfur region was threatening the ability of humanitarian organisations to assist the population and putting at risk long-term food security.

"We are deeply concerned with the developing situation which threatens fragile food security in this region,” PANA quoted Mr. Khan as saying.

He stated: "This is the season when people should be planting and working on farms but instead they are fleeing their villages, a significant number of them have even fled to the refugee camps in neighbouring Chad".

He noted that the renewed violence in Darfur after a decade-long conflict has prompted more than 250,000 people to flee their villages and abandon their livelihoods since the start of the year.

Mr. Khan also said that the inter-tribal clashes had strained WFP’s ability to feed vulnerable families and provide them with necessary support.

"This conflict has been going on for a decade now and the escalation that we have seen during the first half of the year has not only created greater needs, but has also hindered our ability to reach all those in need, due to insecurity,” the WFP official said.

"If it continues, it could very well derail our plans to promote long-term food security and build resilience among communities," he added.

WFP stated that it had raised only US$180 million out of its operational budget of US$397 million to be able to feed 3.9 million conflict-affected people in Sudan.

It also disclosed that despite a good harvest last year, food security remained fragile and threatened by a combination of conflict, insecurity and high food prices.

The majority of WFP’s operations in Sudan take place in Darfur, where the agency had planned to feed 2.7 million people at the beginning of the year, including 1.4 million living in camps.

However, the recent displacements mean that the total number of people receiving assistance in Darfur is expected to climb above 2.9 million people.

It said that, so far, about 16,000 are receiving assistance in the new refugee camp of Abgadam in the Tissi area, adding to the 300,000 Darfur refugees who have been in Chad for the past few years.

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in addition to the 250,000 people who are internally displaced, some 30,000 Sudanese have crossed over into neighbouring Chad in the past few months.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 23July2013

23 july 2013 19:23:42

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