Khartoum/Rome — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rapidly scaling up its emergency operations in Sudan, every day reaching thousands more people whose lives have been upended by the ongoing fighting. WFP is ramping up to assist 4.9 million vulnerable people in Sudan and thousands more who have fled to neighbouring countries. "The fighting in Sudan is devastating lives and livelihoods and forcing people to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. WFP is on the ground delivering life-saving assistance to thousands of people in Sudan and thousands more who have fled to neighbouring countries," says Michael Dunford, WFP's Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
"It is critical that humanitarians have the access, resources, and assurances of safety to effectively reach and support those who are depending on us for survival."
An update from Sudan and neighbouring countries where WFP is providing emergency food assistance is as follows:
- Food distributions are underway in the States of Gedaref, Kassala, White Nile, North Darfur, East Darfur and Gezira. Two weeks since the first emergency distributions started in Sudan, WFP has reached more than 300,000 people with over 6,500 metric tons of food. This is inclusive of nutrition support which is ongoing in Red Sea State.
- WFP has been able to restart activities in North Darfur, where over 130,000 internally displaced people across three camps (Zamzam, Al Salam and Abu Shouk) have received emergency food rations.
- Food distributions are ongoing in Gezira State, which neighbours Khartoum and is the first place many families fleeing the capital have found refuge. WFP is targeting 23,000 people with food assistance, reaching both newly displaced families, who continue to arrive each day, and the vulnerable communities hosting them.
- WFP is setting up operations in Wadi Halfa in Northern State, near the Sudan-Egypt border, to provide around 8,000 people who are making the long journey to safety in Egypt with emergency food assistance and nutrition support.
- WFP also plans to resume food distributions in Blue Nile and Central Darfur as soon as the security situation allows.
- WFP is also part of an inter-agency assessment of needs in Port Sudan, where many families have sought refuge from the fighting.
- WFP is expecting a vessel carrying over 30,000 metric tonnes of food assistance to dock in Port Sudan on 18 May. Two cargo planes carrying critical humanitarian supplies for WFP and other partners, including UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, have so far landed in Port Sudan (9 and 16 May), supported by the WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).
- UNHAS has established an air connection between Port Sudan and Addis Ababa. Launched on 14 May, the service has already transported 65 frontline humanitarians. A new connection between Port Sudan and Nairobi will start on 18 May. UNHAS has also helped manage commercial airlifts from Dubai to Port Sudan, bringing in humanitarian supplies on behalf of WFP and UNICEF. Nearly US$110 million is required to support UNHAS operations for the remainder of 2023.
- WFP urgently needs US$730 million for its operations in Sudan to ensure immediate assistance reaches those in desperate need.
Central African Republic
- WFP plans to assist around 25,000 new arrivals who are expected to arrive in the Central African Republic.
- Vakaga prefecture, which borders Sudan, is receiving most of the new arrivals. The region is already experiencing emergency levels of hunger (IPC4) and the increase in food needs is putting pressure on already limited WFP resources.
- Before the crisis in Sudan, WFP's funding requirements for the next six months in Central African Republic stood at US$75.4 million. This figure is now expected to rise.
- WFP's emergency food and nutrition assistance has so far reached 20,000 people in Chad with over 482 metric tons of food mobilised immediately from N'Djamena to Farchana and Gozamir near the Sudan - Chad border.
- Since the start of clashes in Sudan, more than 60,000 new Sudanese refugees have crossed into Chad, in addition to 15,000 Chadian returnees from Sudan - according to the Government of Chad, UNHCR, and IOM. These new arrivals add to the more than 400,000 Sudanese refugees already sheltering in Eastern Chad after fleeing from previous conflicts.
- WFP urgently needs US$162.4 million to support food insecure people in Chad, including the newly arrived, existing refugees, and vulnerable host communities.
- WFP has launched an emergency cash assistance programme in Egypt to support the most vulnerable families arriving with nothing after a long and perilous journey from Sudan.
- WFP has also dispatched emergency food, including ready-to-eat food packages and 20 metric tons of fortified food items - enough for nearly 90,000 people. These are currently being distributed by the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) at the two entry points of Arqeen and Qustol.
- So far 98,000 people have crossed into southern Egypt from Sudan, according to Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- WFP's Egypt operation urgently needs US$16.7 million to continue delivering food assistance (food and cash) for the next six months to support the new arrivals.
- WFP is providing hot meals for new arrivals as well as nutrition screening for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women and children.
- Almost 60,000 people have crossed the border into South Sudan and many of them require humanitarian assistance.
- WFP is ready to scale-up and respond as needed to support families fleeing Sudan. However, US$466 million is urgently required to ensure we can support both the new arrivals and continue to support vulnerable South Sudanese families who are already reliant on WFP for survival. If the crisis in Sudan continues the funding gap will spiral and could force WFP to divert food and funds from other areas of need.
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