- The United Nations has warned that more than a million Dafuris could face severe hunger and starvation by May unless new aid agencies are deployed in the war torn region to hand out food rations.
The UN’s humanitarian coordinator John Holmes said despite joint efforts by government, UN agencies and remaining non governmental organisations, more assistance is needed to fill the aid gaps.
The Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir expelled 13 aid organisations earlier this month after the International Criminal Court issued his warrant of arrest for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur accusing them of giving the court wrong information and exaggerating the crisis in the region.
Since the expulsion of aid agencies, Sudan has said Sudanese groups have been filling the gaps left my the organisations. However, Mr Holmes said the Sudanese government had not done enough to fill the gaps.
The UN estimates that 1.5 million people in Darfur are dependent on healthcare support, 11 million need regular food aid, and another 1 million are in need of clean drinking water.
According to Mr Holmes the information gathered in Sudan from 11 to 18 March this year has revealed that although World Food Programme is currently managing to assist people in the region between March and April, its resources and capacity will soon be over stretched, saying the new partners will be needed to continue delivering food after April.
Mr Holmes said that 13,000 to 14,000 aid workers in the region already were Sudanese nationals.
He said the cooperation and technical help from the Sudanese government on the assessment was a good step forward saying it is only the first of many steps if the people in Darfur are not going to suffer major consequences from the expulsions.
The UN has said that the effects of the expulsions were already being felt, with feeding for malnourished children not taking place and un-serviced water pumps likely to break down.
The United Nations estimates that about 300,000 people have died in Darfur since 2003 when Darfuris took up arms against the government, accusing of neglect by the Arab-dominated Khartoum government. More than 2.7 million have been displaced.
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