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ICRC: ‘One in four Sudanese face food shortages’

November 2 - 2020 KHARTOUM / KASS
IRCR distributing household essentials to people who return to their land in Kass, South Darfur, after being displaced (ICRC)
IRCR distributing household essentials to people who return to their land in Kass, South Darfur, after being displaced (ICRC)

One in four Sudanese are estimated to face food shortages as prices climb and clashes, droughts and floods destroy people’s ability to farm, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation stated.

Communities in Blue Nile state, South Kordofan and Darfur survived years of war and now face a layered crisis in which sporadic violence, climate change, economic collapse, and COVID-19 are forcing more people to rely on humanitarian aid for their survival, ICRC Vice President Gilles Carbonnier said at the end of a visit to Sudan last week.

“Communities are caught between extremes as clashes, droughts, and floods rob people of their homes and livelihoods again and again”, Carbonnier said. “The result is that millions of people in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur do not have enough food, water, medical care or other necessities to survive. This crisis is complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and a shortage of basic commodities.”

Kass

Carbonnier visited Kass locality in South Darfur, where the ICRC is distributing household essentials to 15,600 people who have returned to the area after being displaced by clashes.

“We must continue to have access to long-neglected communities like Kass that urgently need support”, Carbonnier said. “However, humanitarian assistance alone will not end the cycle of violence, displacement and hunger that has trapped millions of Sudanese for decades. We call on those taking part in clashes to respect people’s lives and property so that they can start to rebuild their lives.”

While in Sudan, Carbonnier met with Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan and Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, President and Vice President of the Sovereign Council, Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari, Governor of South Darfur Mousa Mahdi, Yasir Arman, Secretary General of the Sudan People Liberation Movement-North faction led by Malik Agar in Blue Nile state, and Dr Afaf Yahyam Secretary General of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.

Relief

ICRC’s work in Sudan largely centres around Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur. In 2020 this work has included providing seeds, farming tools and food to 159,000 people. More than 366,000 livestock have been vaccinated to protect livelihoods and improve food security. Nearly 150 families also received cash grants to help them start businesses.

The ICRC has provided relief to 9,200 people so far this year, while it has helped improve access to water for about 146,000 people. In July, the ICRC responded to clashes in the Misterei area of West Darfur, including donating medical supplies to local hospitals to help them deal with influxes of injuries. ICRC has been present in Sudan since 1978.


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