Sudan

Sudan: Despite ongoing conflicts and danger to staff: Welthungerhilfe resumes aid distribution

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Bonn/Khartoum, 27.10.2008. After two months of suspension of food distribution in rural areas of North Darfur Welthungerhilfe resumes its activities. "We are confronted with a situation where there is no other option than to resume." Johan van der Kamp, Regional Director of Welthungerhilfe in Sudan, says. "People are in dire need of food and as long as we still have at least one option to deliver we are committed to do so. In order to avoid mass displacements of the hundreds of thousands in need of food we decided to resume before the situation becomes even more critical."

As a result of the suspension more than 450,000 persons could not be reached for two months. It concerns mainly people who, during the so-called hunger gap before the harvests, have not enough food to survive and hence are depending upon external food aid.

Although a lot of guarantees for free and unhindered access to the areas from various representatives of the local population, as well as rebel commanders claiming to be in command in various areas, it is still not safe enough to use own vehicles. During emergency operations in North Darfur, Welthungerhilfe lost four trucks and one 4x4 vehicle to criminals. This is why from November 1st, the operation will be heavily based upon helicopter transport for Welthungerhilfe staff to the areas of distribution.

These transport services, provided by UNHAS, are crucial to success but at the same time pose an additional constraint to the whole operation. "On the one hand we are lucky to have access to these flights but on the other hand we are now fully dependent upon the availability of these flights and we have to cover the extremely high costs which are linked to these services". The helicopter flights are absolutely necessary to meet the minimum safety standards for the staff.

Our Regional Director in Sudan, Johan van der Kamp, is available for interviews upon request.

Welthungerhilfe has been active in Sudan since 1998, mainly in the provinces of northern Darfur, West Kordofan and Unity State. In northern Darfur we supply more than half a million people with food. Other focal points of our project work are agriculture, food security and drinking water supplies.

For further information see www.welthungerhilfe.de

Contact:

Julia Wellmann, Pressestelle
Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stra=DFe 1
D-53173 Bonn
Tel.: ++49 / (0) 22 8 / 22 88-454
Fax: ++49 / (0) 22 8 / 22 88-188
Email: Julia.Wellmann@welthungerhilfe.de