Darfur displaced suffer from severe food crisis

In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Friday, Saleh Issa Mohamed, one of the leaders of the displaced in Kalma camp near Nyala, capital of South Darfur, said that the most prominent challenge currently facing the displaced in Darfur camps is an acute shortage of food.

The World Food Programme (WFP) launched a policy for distributing food rations in August 2017 in which the number of Kalma camp residents eligible for food rations was reduced from 163,000 to 39,551, a reduction to 25 per cent of the food aid that was available before. The reduction, which was made “at the behest of the former regime [under Omar Al Bashir] before it fell,” has created a lack of food security in Kalma camp, according to Mohamed.

Thousands of IDPs in Darfur are living in critical humanitarian conditions and lack basic food provisions, said Mohamed. He also pointed to the urgent need for blankets, tarpaulins for shelter, health services, drinking water, and education.

In November, dozens of residents of the Zamzam camp for displaced people near El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, blocked the road between El Fasher and Nyala in a protest against the lack of adequate food provisions, after the WFP reorganised its distribution of food in the camp using voucher cards. The displaced claim that the new measure prevented many from receiving adequate food supplies.

The displaced demanded that the WFP abolish its classification of IDPs into three groups: those who do not directly need aid, those who need emergency aid for a period of six months, and those who need continuous assistance.

UNAMID exit

Mohamed also explained that “the displaced face major security problems due to the vacuum left by the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) after its exit from the region.”

On Friday, Lt Gen Azeledin El Sheikh, Minister of Interior Affairs, renewed the Sudanese government's commitment to protecting and securing voluntary return camps for civilians in the states of Darfur through the plan established for the National Committee for the Protection of Civilians.

He said that the Sudanese police, with the qualifications and expertise they possess, can protect and secure civilians until the exit of UNAMID.

Maba Babakar Sisi, the Assistant Secretary General of the UNAMID mission in Darfur, praised the efforts of the UNAMID mission in Darfur during the past period and need for further cooperation and coordination with UNAMID before its departure. He also said that the National Committee for the Protection of Civilians will visit Darfur to sort out the final arrangements following UNAMID’s withdrawal from the region.

He also assured the police of UNAMID's commitment to provide logistical support to the Sudanese government which will contribute to raising the capabilities of its working forces in protecting civilians. He also said that there will be a meeting with the Ministry of Interior Affairs to discuss its needs to carry out its duties towards the people of Sudan.

Expected food insecurity in Sudan until May 2021 (FEWS NET)

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network reported in January, that between December and January, “staple food prices continued increasing atypically” in Sudan and were more than double compared to last year and over five times greater than the five-year average. The high cereal prices are being driven by the continued depreciation of the Sudanese Pound, high production and transportation costs, and lower than expected harvests.

An estimated 7.1 million people are assessed to be food insecure, according to the latest WFP Sudan Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis (July 2020). This is an increase of 65 per cent compared with 2019.

The WFP, World Bank, and European Union have contributed USD 370 million to the Family Support Programme Samarat, which launched its pilot programme in Jebel-Aulia locality in Khartoum state on Wednesday.

Source: Radio Dabanga

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