PORT SUDAN — Distributions of United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) food assistance began on Saturday for thousands of people who have been trapped in Sudan’s capital Khartoum since fighting broke out six weeks ago. The distributions come in the last days of the seven-day ceasefire agreed by both conflict parties, which is set to expire on Monday evening.
“This is a major breakthrough. We have finally been able to help families who are stuck in Khartoum and struggling to make it through each day as food and basic supplies dwindle,” says Eddie Rowe, WFP’s Country Director in Sudan.
“We have been working round the clock to reach people in Khartoum since the fighting began. A window opened late last week which allowed us to start food distributions. WFP must do more, but that depends on the parties to the conflict and the security and access they realistically guarantee on the ground.”
WFP is rapidly expanding the distribution of emergency food assistance across the country. Here are the latest updates:
- WFP has distributed food assistance to 12,445 people in both Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) controlled areas of Omdurman, part of the Khartoum metropolitan area. Three days of distributions started on Saturday and are the first by WFP in the capital since fighting broke out in Khartoum on 15 April.
- More food assistance has been prepositioned to continue distributions in Khartoum for as long as the security situation allows. WFP plans to reach at least 500,000 people in Khartoum.
- Over the weekend, food and nutrition distributions also began in Wadi Halfa in Northern State to around 8,000 Sudanese who have fled Khartoum and are making the long journey to Egypt. Late last week, WFP also began distributions to 4,000 newly displaced people in Port Sudan.
- WFP has rapidly scaled up support in Sudan to reach 675,000 people so far with emergency food and nutrition assistance in 13 of the country’s 18 states since operations resumed less than a month ago on 3 May. WFP is expanding to support 5.9 million people across Sudan over the next six months as hunger rises.
- WFP is also providing emergency telecoms services to all United Nations agencies and the wider humanitarian community in Sudan where basic connectivity is challenging.
- WFP requires US$731 million to reach 5.9 million conflict-affected people country-wide in the next six months.
- WFP urgently calls on all parties to enable the safe delivery of urgently needed food aid, especially in Khartoum State where fighting has been raging for six weeks.
- An estimated 2 – 2.5 million people in Sudan are expected to slip into hunger in the coming months because of the ongoing violence. This would take acute food insecurity in Sudan to record levels, with more than 19 million people affected, 40 percent of the population.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Leni Kinzli, WFP/ Sudan, Mob. +1 917 242 8707
Alessandro Abbonizio, WFP/ Nairobi, Mob. +254 723 001 639
Annabel Symington, WFP/ Rome, Mob. +44 7746 397099
Nina Valente, WFP/ London, Mob. +44 (0)796 8008 474
Martin Rentsch, WFP/Berlin, Mob +49 160 99 26 17 30
Shaza Moghraby, WFP/New York, Mob. + 1 929 289 9867
Steve Taravella, WFP/ Washington, Mob. +1 202 770 5993