New donations boost rations in Darfur but more contributions needed for Sudan

Published on 29 May 2006

WFP has announced that food aid rations – recently reduced by half for more than three million people in Sudan – would be increased to 84 percent in energy content from June to September in Darfur, thanks to the latest donations towards WFP’s emergency operation.

WFP has announced that food aid rations – recently reduced by half for more than three million people in Sudan – would be increased to 84 percent in energy content from June to September in Darfur, thanks to the latest donations towards WFP’s emergency operation.

The world has a deep obligation to do its utmost to assist the people of Sudan, many of whom have already suffered immense trauma as a result of brutal conflict

James Morris, WFP’s Executive Director

“We greatly appreciate the donations received so far, which provide an urgent boost to people’s daily diet,” said James Morris, WFP’s Executive Director.

“However, continued contributions, preferably in cash, are still crucial to help address urgent needs in the months ahead.”

At the beginning of May, the United States announced it would divert to Sudan food aid shipments valued at US$46.2 million.

Pledges

Other donors, including Canada, the European Commission, Australia, Germany and Denmark, have also offered funds and pledges which, together with an announced Sudanese contribution of cereal, will enable WFP to raise the number of kilocalories per person per day to 1,770 (the minimum daily requirement is 2,100 kilocalories) in Darfur.

The Sudan Government’s donation of 20,000 metric tonnes of cereals is a welcome contribution that will allow WFP to distribute a full ration of cereals in Darfur for the next three months.

For about 370, 000 people in the East and Central areas, rations remain at 64 percent of the required minimum energy content.

Rainy season

“We are now in a race against time to deliver more food both to the people of Sudan and to people in Darfur, as the onset of the rainy season in June makes roads inaccessible,” said Morris.

“The average time it takes for pledges to arrive as food aid in the country is four to six months.

The earliest WFP could hope to restore complete rations across Sudan is October, but this still depends on the flow of contributions.”

Hard decision

A critical shortage of donor funds forced WFP to announce in April – and distribute in May – half rations in Darfur and the East of Sudan, a decision which Morris described as one of the hardest he had ever made.

WFP has been warning since November 2005 that it would need significant donations – US$600 million by May – to guarantee a continued flow of food aid to more than 6.1 million hungry people in Sudan.

But five months into 2006, WFP’s Emergency Operation in Sudan is only 42.6 percent funded.

So the agency needs donors to provide contributions now to cover requirements for the last quarter of the year.

“The world has a deep obligation to do its utmost to assist the people of Sudan, many of whom have already suffered immense trauma as a result of brutal conflict,” said Morris.