Sudan

Sudan: Urgent humanitarian needs in Southern Blue Nile

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NAIROBI, 21 February (IRIN) - Humanitarian agencies in Sudan have identified pressing humanitarian needs in the Southern Blue Nile region of southern Sudan, where thousands of people are threatened by a combination of insecurity, water and food shortages.
The agencies, which operate under the "Operation Lifeline Sudan" umbrella, said insecurity had displaced 30,000 people who now resided in camps.

In a report released on Thursday, OLS said a recent UN assessment revealed that the displaced camps were insecure and the priority was to move the population to safer areas. The assessment also found high rates of malnutrition and acute water shortages in the camps.

"The shortage of water became critical following lower than normal rainfall last year," the report noted.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has estimated the total food requirements for the displaced population at 2,259 mt until August or September this year, the report noted.

According to the report, both the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army have agreed to invite UN agencies to provide assistance to southern Blue Nile and other needy areas, following a ceasefire agreement reached in October 2002.

"While intervention strategies are being finalised, it is important that relevant agencies prepare strategies for conducting proper assessments to obtain food security and general baseline data in order to improve the effectiveness of upcoming humanitarian interventions," OLS said.

[ENDS]

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