UN raises alarm over famine in Sudan


UN humanitarians in Sudan on Friday issued a fresh alert about pervasive food insecurity and looming famine in the country.

After nearly a year of brutal civil war between rival militaries, food production has been hit and communities face acute shortage of other essential resources such as water and fuel.

More than eight million people are believed to have been uprooted from their homes with tens of thousands killed or wounded.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that every seventh child under five is acutely malnourished and 70 to 80 per cent of health centres are no longer functioning.

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WHO spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, said five million people were “on the brink of famine” in areas affected by conflict:

“With the lean season expected to start soon and without unhindered access for aid, the situation will only worsen in the coming months,” he added.

He said around 230,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers could die in the coming months due to hunger unless urgent lifesaving funding could be provided.

New data from the UN Development Programme, UNDP, also highlighted the accelerating hunger crisis in Sudan on Friday, with famine expected this year.

Moderate or severe food insecurity already affects nearly six in 10 households, with West Kordofan, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states worst-hit.

UNDP urged immediate food aid assistance for the most vulnerable in Sudan where more than half of the rural households contacted for its research reported that farming work had been disrupted significantly in the states of Khartoum, Sennar and West Kordofan. (NAN)

By Cecilia Ologuunagba

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