UN agency warns of imminent risk of famine in Sudan’s Darfur region — Global Issues

Sudan has witnessed shocking levels of violence since fighting broke out between rival forces in April last year, plunging the country into a devastating humanitarian and protection crisis.

Nearly 25 million people, more than half the population, are estimated to be in need of assistance, and around 17.7 million people face “severe” levels of food insecurity.

crisis, Described as having “epic proportions” By the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (tea), fighting intensifies between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), particularly in Darfur, where continued fighting and official restrictions limit access to vulnerable communities. is worsening.

Aid from Chad’s Tyne border crossing comes as Port Sudan authorities are blocking aid shipments from Sudan’s western neighbor via Adre, the only viable cross-border corridor, due to a recent escalation in violence around El Fasher. The transport convoy is stopped.

despair and misery

Michael Dunford, United Nations World Food Program East Africa Regional Director (United Nations WFP), emphasized the despair of civilians Caught up in battle.

“Our call for humanitarian access to Sudan’s conflict-hit areas has never been more important. WFP urgently demands unrestricted access and security guarantees to deliver aid to families struggling to survive “In the midst of devastating levels of violence,” he said.

“The situation is dire. People are resorting to consuming grass and peanut shells. If aid does not arrive soon, we risk witnessing widespread starvation and death in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas. In Sudan,” he warned.

The WFP official stressed that humanitarian workers must be able to use the Adore border crossing and transport aid across the front line from Port Sudan to reach people across Darfur.

© UNICEF/Zebrauskas

A child stands with water collected from an internally displaced person camp in Nyala, Darfur state. (File)

Children killed in ‘unconscionable violence’

Catherine Russell, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), emphasized the impact of combat on children.

At least 43 people, including women and children, have been killed since clashes escalated in North Darfur. More than a dozen villages have been attacked recently, with reports of horrific incidents of violence, including sexual violence, and even deaths of children.

There are concerns that the siege of El Fasher by armed groups and restrictions on movement on major roads on the outskirts of the city are preventing families from evacuating.

“All these very worrying developments As brutal violence continues across Sudan, the country faces famine and further catastrophic loss of life due to conflict.This is especially true among children,” Russell said.

He called on the warring sides to de-escalate the situation, allow the safe movement of civilians, including the sick and wounded, who wish to move to safer areas, and ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. .

Children in Sudan continue to suffer from unjust violence, while their parents and grandparents continue to bear the scars of past violence.. We cannot allow this to continue to happen,” said the UNICEF Executive Director.

A call to relieve tension

Meanwhile, Ramtan Ramamula, the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy to Sudan, continued to engage with Sudanese parties to ease tensions, a UN spokesperson said.

Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, said Ramamula called on the RSF and Sudanese authorities to refrain from fighting in El Fasher.

“[He] emphasized that Attacks on cities will likely have devastating consequences for civilians” said Haq.

He added that since attending the Paris conference in April, Ramamula has visited Chad, Ethiopia and Eritrea, and has consulted with the African Union and regional leaders on the way forward.

people who have suffered severe trauma

The United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, highlighted the challenges faced To reach those in need. For the first time since the war began, they reached Omdurman, a large city across the river from the capital Khartoum.

City Hosts over 12,000 refugees and 54,000 internally displaced persons.

“Displaced families, including Sudanese and refugees who were in Sudan before the war, told UNHCR they were struggling to get enough food and feared their children would become malnourished due to rising prices. ” said Spokesperson Olga Salado Mur.

Mulu said children have no access to schools or places to play and are traumatized by the sounds of fighting. Shelters for displaced people are inadequate, and many live in overcrowded conditions, including abandoned classrooms.

Two hospitals remain open, but there is a shortage of medicines, especially for patients with chronic conditions.. Pregnant women cannot receive prenatal care. “People also shared serious concerns for their safety and reported an increase in sexual violence and limited access to legal assistance,” she said.

many people are severely traumatized

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