7 MILLION FACE STARVATION IN SUDAN
FEB 20 2006
Nearly seven million people
in Sudan, including in the war-ravaged Darfur region, are exposed to
malnutrition and will need food assistance this year, two UN food agencies
The Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme estimated that some 800,000 tonnes of food aid would be required in 2006 despite a good harvest in the African country.
In a report issued yesterday, the agencies said the food aid would mainly target more than two million internally displaced people and almost 3.5 million people in Darfur and in areas in southern, central and eastern Sudan.
The agencies, both based in Rome, issued their report after a mission late last year to assess the food situation in the country.
Sudan’s overall cereal production for 2005 and 2006 – amounting to about 5.3 million tonnes – was 55% higher than the 2004-05 harvest and 17% above the average of the previous five years, the agencies reported. Rainfall over much of the country and improved security – which allowed for increased cultivation – were the biggest reasons for the good harvest, officials said.
However, millions of people still lacked access to food because of war and poor infrastructure, among other factors, the report stated.
A peace accord was reached last year after some 20 years of civil war in southern Sudan.
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