‘Cook collective iftar for displaced during Ramadan’: North Darfur activist

Thousands of displaced in Zamzam camp face an even more difficult food situation during Ramadan. People in El Fasher are asked to lend a hand and cook collective meals in the camp.

The population of newly internally displaced people in a camp near El Fasher, who have not received any food rations since their arrival this year, is facing a lean month of Ramadan. Residents in the capital of North Darfur state are asked to lend a hand and help these camp residents, who live in a difficult humanitarian situation.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, one of the displaced people, who is an activist in Zamzam camp, said that about 35,000 people have arrived in the camp since the beginning of 2015. “They have not received any food aid from organisations in the camp.

“They are facing a very difficult humanitarian situation right now, with the coming of fasting for Ramadan,” the activist stressed. Through the radio, he called on citizens in El Fasher to come and do their part as good Muslims, and help the newly displaced people to make it through the holy month. He suggested that people can bring food and cook collective meals to break the fast together, where everyone is able to receive a portion of food.

The activist also appealed to the local authorities and the state government to provide aid to the newly displaced in Zamzam.

Obtaining food

The fasting during Ramadan makes it difficult for poor, displaced people to obtain food in the normal ways, which is buying it from the little money they receive from their jobs. Another way is to beg for food in daytime. During Ramadan, people are fasting during the day and have no leftover food to give away, while working for money is heavy on an empty stomach.

Another complicating factor is the fact that villagers in Darfur would normally gather for iftar -to break the fast- collectively. But in the camps, families do not receive enough food in general from distributing organisations, to share it with others.

The newest inhabitants of Zamzam camp became displaced as a result of the fighting between Sudanese paramilitary forces and rebels, and aerial bombardments in North Darfur. Some of them were registered by the humanitarian organisations in Zamzam, while others were not. “The problem is that none of them have been receiving any of the food that is distributed in the camp,” according to an activist, claiming that a number of displaced people has started to beg for food in the neighbourhoods and markets of El Fasher.