‘Hungry’ Darfur displaced call for food aid
Displaced living in camps in West and North Darfur complain about food shortages and the soaring prices of basic commodities during the month of Ramadan. They appeal to humanitarian and charity organisations to intervene.
A sheikh of one of the ten camps for the displaced around the West Darfur capital El Geneina complained to Radio Dabanga that the prices of consumer goods rose again with the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan.
“A ratul (450 grams) of sugar went up from SDG4 ($0.65) to SDG6 ($1), and a bottle of cooking oil from SDG15 ($2.45) to SDG17 ($2.80). We pay now SDG40 ($6.60) for a bowl of lentils. A kilo of beef costs SDG60 ($9.80) and mutton SDG70 ($11.45).”
The camp elder said that the situation of the displaced deteriorated significantly after the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reduced the food rations earlier this year. “After the review of the food rations categories, 30 percent of the displaced in the ten El Geneina camps do not receive ration cards anymore.”
He appealed to humanitarian and charity organisations “to intervene and provide food to the hungry displaced during this holy month”.
A resident of Kabkabiya camp in North Darfur also complained about the soaring price of consumer goods.
“We pay SDG5 ($0.82) for a ratul of sugar, and SDG17 ($2.80) for a bottle of cooking oil. A bowl of lentils now costs SDG30 ($4.90), a kilo of beef or mutton SDG50 ($8.20), while the price of a barrel of water has risen to SDG15 ($2.45).
“We do not know how to survive anymore, especially after the WFP conducted its review of the food rations in the Kabkabiya camps, and the names of about 70 percent of the displaced disappeared from the food aid list,” she added.
The source appealed to the authorities and humanitarian organisations in Kabkabiya locality to provide food to the displaced, “especially the needy families, widows, and orphans”.
“We do not know how to survive anymore, especially after the WFP conducted its review of the food rations in the Kabkabiya camps, and the names of about 70 percent of the displaced disappeared from the food aid list.”
Radio Dabanga reported on 15 June that the WFP will re-assess the food aid classification of the resident of Zamzam camp near the North Darfur capital El Fasher.
A camp activist said that representatives of the WFP handed the camp elders new forms to be filled by 37 percent of the households classified as non-eligible. He predicted that more than 20 percent of the list of the non-eligible displaced may receive a form of food aid again.
In June last year, WFP representative Bakri Osman told Radio Dabanga that a survey which began in 2014 in the Darfur camps would be completed early 2016. In collaboration with partner organisations and camp leaders, the UN agency gathered information from 600,000 residents of 25 of 50 camps in the conflict-torn western region.
Osman explained that the information determining the standard of living of each household was obtained through a questionnaire, designed and implemented by a WFP team, in cooperation with the local community. He commended the cooperation by the displaced and their understanding of the classification process.
The WFP provided food assistance to 1.4 million displaced in 50 Darfur camps last year.
The UN food assistance agency has suffered from a lack of funds during recent years. For 2016, WFP expected a shortfall of $9.2 million, out the $20 million of yearly requirements to assist about 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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