348508_44124480466@N01.jpg Sudanese baby Africa Oil Watch: UN says its World Food Programme has delivered less than one third of babyfood needed for Darfur

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

UN says its World Food Programme has delivered less than one third of babyfood needed for Darfur

Aug 18: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is using costly air drops again because of the long forecasted seasonal rains. Below is an excerpt from a Telegraph report by David Blair in Khartoum filed on August 18, 2004, that explains another reason for the delays in aid getting through to Darfur.

[Note the emotive language the UN uses in relation to the Darfur children, and how it wastes no time pointing out blame on anything but itself for failing to deliver in time. If the aid planes were 'grounded' because of the AU summit, why didn't the UN and WFP scream and shout about it when it happened last month so it could make headline news for the world to see why half the aid is not getting through. What is the good in bringing it up now, when there is nothing that can be done about it?]

Note the report states: "The world's biggest international relief effort has delivered less than one third of the special food needed for acutely malnourished children in Darfur, the United Nations said yesterday:

Vital time was lost when flights carrying a high-energy corn and soya blend were grounded by Ethiopia for seven days last month. The Ethiopians blamed air traffic control problems caused by African leaders arriving for a summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The UN's World Food Programme is responsible for feeding all 1.2 million refugees in Darfur, the western region of Sudan which has been terrorised by the Janjaweed militia.

According to WFP figures, 8,220 tons of corn and soya blend were needed to feed malnourished children between April and last month. But only 2,455 tons were delivered, barely 30 per cent of the requirement."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtm [sorry link has disappeared into Telegraph archives]
- - -

WFP scales up Darfur operation

Aug 18 report copied here in full:

The UN World Food Program (WFP) is boosting the delivery of relief food to hundreds of thousands of people in western Sudan's Darfur region as the rainy reason begins to bite.

"In order to meet the challenge in Darfur, WFP is urgently scaling up its operation into the region, with particular emphasis being placed on El-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, the state worst affected by the rains," WFP said in a statement.

The WFP representative in Sudan, Ramiro Lopes da Silva, said delivering food to the region by air was expensive but the only option at this time of year. "The next six weeks will be critical as the rainy season really begins to bite - we have a massive task ahead of us," Da Silva said in the statement.

"From today, WFP will be using three Antonov 12 cargo planes to airlift 100 tonnes of food a day to El-Geneina. The three planes are to complete three rotations per a day," the statement added.

If the weather conditions worsened the runway in El Geneina would become unusable, the agency warned.

"A third helicopter has arrived in Sudan to assist the transportation of drop-zones teams into locations where air drops are to be received," the statement said.

The UN estimates that up to 50,000 people have been killed since Sudan's armed forces and the Janjaweed militia cracked down on minority tribes backing a rebellion, which erupted in Darfur in February 2003. The government disputes the figure.

Another 1.2 million people have fled from their homes in Sudan and up to 200,000 more have been settled in makeshift camps in neighbouring Chad, the United Nations says.
- - -

Hepatitis in Darfur raises fears, more refugees flee

Aug 18 report copied here in full:

The UN's health body raised alarm Tuesday over a jump in deadly cases of hepatitis E in Sudan's Darfur region and another agency said a new wave of refugees had fled to neighbouring Chad to escape the violence. The United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) also warned that Chad was worried about the harmful impact of the refugee influx on its fragile economy.

Hoping to ease the crisis in Darfur, which has prompted up to 200,000 people to escape to Chad and 1.2 million to flee their homes internally, a third international organisation said it was due to sign an accord with Sudan on Thursday to assist the safe return of citizens.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said unclean water and terrible sanitation had triggered more than 1,000 cases of hepatitis E, resulting in at least 27 deaths. The figures compared with 625 cases and 22 deaths reported last week.

"It is not a minor thing," said WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib.

"It shows how bad water and sanitation is in the camps despite the international organisations' efforts to improve it," she told a news conference in Geneva, where the global health body is based.

Hepatitis E has a low mortality rate compared with hepatitis B and C, but its outbreak in Sudan -- a country that until now had been free of the disease -- could have a devastating impact among vulnerable people such as pregnant women and children, the spokeswoman said.

"WHO, with its partners, is conducting activities to reduce this epidemic of hepatitis E across the whole of Darfur, in particular the west, which has been hardest hit," Chaib said.

The agency, with help from Sudanese health officials and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), was trying to raise awareness about the illness, which is passed person-to-person and is typically linked with dirty water, and was also delivering water purification tablets.

Underlining the terror in Darfur, which has claimed some 50,000 lives since Sudan's army forces and the so-called Janjaweed militia cracked down on minority tribes backing a rebellion in February 2003, the UNHCR reported that 478 refugees have entered Chad -- the first such wave in two months.

"The refugees said they had finally decided the leave because they lost hope that peace would come, had limited resources given the constant looting by the Janjaweed and because they sensed the Janjaweed and authorities connived to prevent them from leaving," UNHCR said.

The agency added that it was monitoring the border to establish whether the recent arrivals were an indication of a flood of new refugees to Chad or merely an exception to the two-month lull in crossings.

Officials in Chad warned the UNHCR's head of Sudan operations, Jean-Marie Fakhouri, that the Sudanese victims were placing a great strain on the economy.

"They told Fakhouri that any large, new arrival of refugees could destabilise the already fragile Chadian economy," the agency reported.

In a bid to help resolve the hardship for the people of Darfur, the director general of the International Organisation for Migration was travelling to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Tuesday to meet with senior officials.

"During the visit, (Brunson) McKinley will sign an agreement to oversee and assist in the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons to Darfur," said IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy, adding that the signing was due to take place on Thursday.


Post a Comment

<< Home