Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) strongly condemns the looting of food supplies from its premises in Gezira State last weekend after elements of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces broke into the warehouse and office, following their takeover of Wad Medani.

The warehouse contained enough stocks to feed nearly 1.5 million severely food insecure people for one month in Gezira State, where a new offensive has forced more than 300,000 people to again run for their lives.

“Sudanese people who are already desperate and fleeing the fighting have now been robbed of the critical assistance they need. This is intolerable and must stop,” said Michael Dunford, WFP Regional Director for Eastern Africa. “In areas under their control, the Rapid Support Forces must guarantee the protection of humanitarian assistance, staff and premises”.

The WFP warehouse contained more than 2,500 metric tons of life-saving food, including pulses, sorghum, vegetable oil and nutrition supplements. The specialized nutritious foods were intended to prevent and support malnutrition treatment for more than 20,000 children and pregnant and breastfeeding women through WFP-supported health centers. 

WFP was forced to temporarily pause distributions in Gezira state last weekend. It is once again reconfiguring its humanitarian response and has started some distributions in states further to the East, where people fleeing Gezira are now seeking refuge.

WFP operations are a lifeline to nearly one million desperate people in Gezira state and the looting of premises undermines our operations at a time when nearly 18 million people are facing acute hunger.

WFP has supported more than 5.6 million people in seventeen of eighteen states across Sudan with food and nutrition assistance since the conflict erupted in mid-April 2023. The agency warned earlier this month of a looming hunger catastrophe if people are not able to receive aid.    

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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