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UN demands unimpeded aid access to Sudan as famine looms

By AFP

March 15, 2024 07:48 PM


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The United Nations called Friday for Sudan's warring factions to provide unimpeded access to deliver desperately-needed aid as the spectre of famine loom after nearly a year of conflict.

The war between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has since April last year killed tens of thousands, destroyed infrastructure and crippled the economy.

It has also led to a dire humanitarian crisis and acute food shortages, with the country teetering on the brink of famine.

Jill Lawler, the emergency chief in Sudan for the UN children's agency UNICEF, said Friday that there were enough aid stocks in Port Sudan, but the problem was getting the aid from there to the people in need.

"Humanitarian access, getting the unimpeded access to these populations, ... is really critical," she told reporters in Geneva via video link from New York.

Lawler said that she last week had led the first UN mission to reach Khartoum state since war erupted 11 months ago.

They had seen first-hand that "the scale and magnitude of needs for children across the country are simply staggering", she said.

Lawler underscored the need for "rapid sustained, unimpeded humanitarian access, both across conflict lines within Sudan and across borders with Sudan's neighbouring countries".

The war "is pushing the country towards a famine" with hunger "the number one concern people expressed".

"Unless there is sufficient political will, attention and resources put towards the response now, we are looking at a potential catastrophic loss of lives."

The UN's World Food Programme has warned that the war risks "triggering the world's largest hunger crisis".

The UN on Friday called for more financial support for aid operations in Sudan.

UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci told reporters in Geneva that the world body had appealed for $2.7 billion to provide aid this year, but had received just five percent of that amount so far.


AFP


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