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UN relief chief visits Sudan to discuss food insecurity in two states

Article / Review by on January 4, 2012 – 11:07 pmNo Comments

UN relief chief visits Sudan to discuss food insecurity in two states

WFP food assistance being offloaded from a truck at a distribution site in the South Kordofan capital Kadugli. Photo: WFP/Mohamed AbdallaWFP food assistance being offloaded from a truck at a distribution site in the South Kordofan capital Kadugli. Photo: WFP/Mohamed Abdalla

Reports from people fleeing two troubled Sudanese states indicate food insecurity and rising levels of malnutrition, the United Nations humanitarian chief warned today.

Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator met with Sudan’s Social Welfare Minister Amira Al Fadil in Khartoum, the capital.

In a press statement, she stressed the need for “a long-term political solution” to the crisis in the Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, which have been riddled with ethnic and political conflict since May last year.

We have agreed with the Government of Sudan to share information and data pertaining to the humanitarian situation in the two states in order to ensure that we meet the needs of the people. 

The ongoing fighting has pitted Government forces against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a rebel group aligned with forces in South Sudan, and was previously confined to Southern Kordofan state before it spread to neighbouring Blue Nile.

The humanitarian situation in both states was exacerbated when fighting disrupted the major crop season last year, causing people to flee at the start of the planting season in Southern Kordofan and abandon their crops in Blue Nile when conflict erupted there later. Coupled with erratic rainfall, the shortage of food stocks have led to a doubling of prices.

After her meeting with the minister, Ms. Amos outlined a four-point plan promoting cooperation between the UN and Sudan in an effort to halt the escalating food crisis in the restive states.

“We have agreed with the Government of Sudan to share information and data pertaining to the humanitarian situation in the two states in order to ensure that we meet the needs of the people,” she said, noting that the Government would establish a mechanism to ensure continuous dialogue between Khartoum and the UN.

Ms. Amos added that the UN and Khartoum would “continue to discuss ways to reach those people in SPLM-N held areas who are currently not able to access any help or support” as the humanitarian indicators in those areas were “particularly alarming.”

Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, which lie on the border between Sudan and its newly-independent neighbour of South Sudan, have been the scene of deadly fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people over the past year. UN officials have repeatedly called on all parties to cease hostilities and to ensure access so that humanitarian workers can reach those in need.

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About United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Fighting hunger worldwide

Medicinezine.com United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Logo

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.

“In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.”

WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.

Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.

In 2011 we aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries. Around 10,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.

WFP’s five objectives:

  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger

WFP’s Mission statement

WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. ¹ The policies governing the use of World Food Programme food aid must be oriented towards the objective of eradicating hunger and poverty. The ultimate objective of food aid should be the elimination of the need for food aid.

Targeted interventions are needed to help to improve the lives of the poorest people – people who, either permanently or during crisis periods, are unable to produce enough food or do not have the resources to otherwise obtain the food that they and their households require for active and healthy lives.

Consistent with its mandate, which also reflects the principle of universality, WFP will continue to:

  • use food aid to support economic and social development;
  • meet refugee and other emergency food needs, and the associated logistics support; and
  • promote world food security in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations and FAO.

The core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities are to provide food aid:

  • to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations;
  • to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives; and
  • to help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.

Share food, change lives

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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