UN forced to cut food rations to a million Sudanese

April 9, 2005

The UN's World Food Programme says it has received just US$275m of the US$468m it believes is needed to feed two million people in the Darfur region of Sudan. The shortfall will force the organisation to halve its non-cereal daily rations to ensure supplies will last through the coming summer period.

"We are very concerned about the negative effect this drastic ration cut will have on the health and psychological well-being of thousands of people, who are already weakened and traumatised by war," said Carlos Veloso, WFP's emergency co-ordinator for Darfur.

According to the UN, at least 180,000 people have died and more than two million have fled the conflict torn region of Darfur since fighting between black African rebels and Arab militia broke out in 2003. [1] Emmanuel Akwei Addo, the UN's independent human rights expert in the Sudan, claimed yesterday that the 2000 African Union troops present in the remote region were unable to reverse the deterioration of security in Darfur.

He added: "The present situation in Darfur is said to be a time bomb, which could explode at any moment. The rebels have grown more intransigent, and security on the ground is getting worse. Aerial bombardment still goes on."