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26 March 2009

New fighting in the area of south Sudan where the 1983-2005 civil war erupted has left about 750 people dead, with growing insecurity in the wider region hampering aid efforts, United Nations officials said on Wednesday. (...) "We have seen reports of up to 750 dead, that seem to have been caused by cattle rustling," said Geoff Wordley, assistant representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in south Sudan. "We have seen a number of disturbing and alarming events in terms of security in recent weeks," Wordley told AFP. Officials said the situation in Jonglei's Pibor County now appeared to have calmed, but that it had had an impact on the work of relief organisations. "During the disturbances, at least one World Food Programme convoy carrying food aid was attacked and looted near Pibor, and therefore the situation of the delivery of humanitarian aid in that area is also of concern," Wordley added.


26 March 2009

Humanitarian officials have warned that Sudan's pledge to fill the aid gap is unlikely to succeed while supplies of food, medicine and water are under threat. Darfur's main rebel group has urged people to reject all government help. The World Food Program is distributing a two-month ration to 1.1 million displaced people who were served by Care, Solidarites, Action Against Hunger and Save the Children, which have all been expelled. But Rachid Jafaar, a WFP official, warned that this was unsustainable and the organisation could not guarantee that all the people affected, at 140 sites, would receive food.


26 March 2009

The United Nations warned on Tuesday that it would appeal to international donors for extra funds following the expulsion of 3,142 aid agency staff. UN humanitarian affairs coordinator Ameerah Haq predicted the situation in Darfur would deteriorate further over the coming weeks. "By the beginning of May, as the hunger gap approaches, and unless the World Food Program has found partners able to take on the mammoth distribution task, these people will not receive their rations," she said.


26 March 2009

A combination of stopgap measures by United Nations agencies and the Sudanese government has kept aid flowing in the world's largest relief program in Darfur, but the makeshift effort cannot be sustained, John Holmes, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator, said Tuesday. (...) The World Food Program, a United Nations agency that will remain in Sudan, used to deliver food through many of the agencies that were shut down. The program delivered food for March and April to 1.1 million people by using local committees, but another method will have to be found, Mr. Holmes said.


26 March 2009

About 750 people have died this month in clashes in South Sudan over cattle-rustling, the United Nations says. (...) "We're seeing reports of perhaps up to 750 dead, that seem to have been generated by cattle rustling," Geoff Wordley, assistant representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan, told the BBC. "The situation now appears to have calmed but during the disturbances at least one World Food Programme convoy was attacked and looted."


26 March 2009

United Nations humanitarian officials have commended the cooperation of Sudanese Government staff on an assessment of relief needs in war-torn Darfur, while they warned of high risks ahead following the ouster of crucial aid groups. [...] A statement from the UN office in Accra said for the long-term, [a] survey, conducted between 11 and 19 March discovered gaps in food aid; health and nutrition; non-food items and shelter; and water, sanitation and hygiene upon which some 4.7 million Darfur residents depended for survival. [...] The survey showed that food needs had been covered for March and April for about 1.1 million people, thanks to a one-time distribution by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) through local food committees.


25 March 2009

The Sudanese government has not done enough to fill gaps in humanitarian assistance caused by its recent expulsion of 13 foreign aid groups from the Darfur region, the U.N. humanitarian chief said on Tuesday. (...) Holmes said that to feed the hungry in Darfur "we need to find some proper partners for the WFP (World Food Program) if the decision is not reversed." The expulsion of aid groups "seems to us a reckless act," he added


25 March 2009

(..) The survey showed that food needs have been covered for March and April for about 1.1 million people, thanks to a one-time distribution by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) through local food committees. However, by the beginning of May, just as the gap between harvest times approaches, further distributions will not be made unless the WFP finds new partners, Haq said. On housing, she said that about 692,400 people are waiting for shelter materials before the rains begin, and will not receive them unless the UN Joint Logistics Centre finds partners to carry out the distribution and gains access to existing distribution lists.


25 March 2009

The U.N. estimates that 1.5 million people in Darfur are dependent on healthcare support, 1.1 million need regular food aid, and another 1 million are in need of clean drinking water. The summary released Tuesday said the World Food Programme, which is still allowed to operate in Sudan, is carrying out a one-time-only distribution program in March and April, but that new partners will be needed to continue delivering food after April.


25 March 2009

More than a million people in Darfur will go without food rations by May unless new aid agencies are deployed, a joint Sudanese-UN assessment says. (...) UN humanitarian affairs coordinator Ameerah Haq told journalists in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum that "the most critical needs are being filled for now". "However, by the beginning of May, as the hunger gap approaches, and unless the World Food Programme has found partners able to take on the mammoth distribution task, these people will not receive their rations," she said.