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WFP food aid reaches 28,000 people in North Darfur

December 19 - 2020 EL FASHER
Sudanese Red Crescent Society distribute essential household items to 1,500 vulnerable families in Jebel Marra in 2017 (ICRC)
Sudanese Red Crescent Society distribute essential household items to 1,500 vulnerable families in Jebel Marra in 2017 (ICRC)

The North Darfur branch of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society began distributing food provided by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday to more than 5,000 poor families in the state capital of El Fasher.

The director of the Red Crescent Society in North Darfur, Abdelrasoul Abdallah, said in a press statement that the programme targets more than 5,000 families, equivalent to 28,000 people, and 43 beggar families in the town.

The society will continue to distribute food provided by the WFP to the residents of Kasab and Fata Borno camps for the displaced and those affected by insecurity in Kutum, the people living in the Selek camp near El Fasher, the Rwanda, Borgo, and Dali camps, the 2014 group of displaced from Debbat Nayra in Tawila, the Shangil Tobaya and Shaddad camps in Dar El Salam locality, and the Sortony camp in Kabkabiya locality, in addition to the South Sudanese refugees living in 13 camp sites in El Laeit locality.

Furthermore, the society will continue the food distribution programme for those affected by the food gap and the COVID-19 pandemic in the countryside of El Fasher, and El Malha, El Kuma, Tawila, and El Taweisha localities.

Abdallah explained that about 600,000 people in North Darfur benefit from the food distribution programme, noting that it will end on December 21.

The Market Monitor report published by the WFP on October 31 showed that the impact of staple food price trends on the cost of the food basket in Sudan has been severe. According to the report, 93 per cent of Sudan's millet and sorghum markets are in crisis. Last year, a WFP study from April to July concluded that out of the 1,085 refugees surveyed across Sudan, an average of 68 per cent holding ration cards for food assistance are women.

WFP food assistance

On April 17, WFP Sudan signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance to import 200,000 tons of wheat, which is equivalent to about 10 per cent of the country’s required wheat import for 2020. The government will repay WFP in Sudanese pounds.

In September, the WFP announced that it would scale up emergency food assistance to reach nearly 160,000 people across Sudan following a devastating flood season in 17 of the country’s 18 states, leaving at least 115 people dead, untold material devastation to homes and farms, countless livestock drowned, and entire towns and villages left destitute.

In October, the WFP won the 2020 Nobel peace prize "for its efforts to combat hunger, contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas, and acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict."

US bridge loan

This week, the Minister of Finance, Heba Mohamed, announced that the US will give a $1 billion bridge loan to the World Bank to help clear Sudan’s arrears with the institution.

The change could in turn “open the door” to more than $1.5 billion in annual development assistance from the International Development Association (IDA), a support deal that also provides an estimated amount of wheat and other materials for a period of 4 years, she said.

Sudan is currently $1.3 billion in arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and external debt is almost $60 billion.

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