Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

Sudan: WFP Allowed Into Govt-Controlled Areas in Sudan

Khartoum — For the first time since 2011 the World Food Programme (WFP) has been allowed to enter areas controlled by the government in the war-torn Blue Nile state of Sudan. UN says a rapid needs assessment has been carried out in all six localities of the province.

The operation was executed jointly by the WFP, Sudan Red Crescent Society, the national NGO Mubadiroon and the Sudanese Human Aid Commission (HAC).

Fighting in Blue Nile and South Kordofan between the Sudanese army (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) began in September 2011 and it forced "thousands to flee their homes", WFP said in a statement on 4 April.

"We are giving a two-month ration for this first round of distribution, following an assessment which we carried out early last month in two of the areas most severely affected by the conflict -- Geissan and Kurmuk," said WFP Programme Officer Arduino Mangoni.

Geissan and Kurmuk, the most affected localities by the conflict, count with some 12.000 and 39.000 people in need of aid, WFP said. According to an assessment, a total of 76.000 people are reliant on humanitarian assistance due to displacement, loss of assets, lack of cultivation last season, and limited/lack of income generating activities, UN OCHA noted.

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