July 24, 2013

Hunger in East Sudan? Let's fix it, please.

Sudan warns of looming famine in eastern region, asks UN help

Text of report in English by independent, Nairobi-based Sudan Radio Service, funded by US State Department on 22 July

A leaked letter purportedly from Sudan's ministry of interior warns of a looming hunger crisis in Eastern Sudan due to lack of rain and... deteriorating environmental conditions.

The alleged letter, written by Interior Minister Ibrahim Hamid Mahmud, is addressed to Ali Hasan Zatari, the UN resident coordinator for humanitarian affairs.

Dated 19 July, 2013, it quotes figures from national health institutions saying that scarcity of rains, deteriorating environmental conditions and conflicts, have contributed to high rates of malnutrition among the general population in eastern Sudan.

The letter adds that these factors have negatively impacted the livelihood of the people in eastern Sudan, and may lead to a disaster.

The letter then urges Zatari's office to fund efforts to cover for the existing food gap. It adds that the implementation of the effort to alleviate the food shortage will be undertaken by the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and government partners in the eastern Sudan states.

"Because of this we write to you hoping for your generous and appropriate contributions in filling the gap, while the implementations will fall on the shoulders of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and government partners in the States."

Sudan Radio Service's attempts to contact Zatari for comments on this issue were unfruitful. Efforts to reach [the] commissioner for relief affairs coordination, Sulayman Abd-al-Rahman, were also unfruitful.

[Sudan Interior Minister Ibrahim Hamid Mahmud is from east Sudan and member of the Bani-Aamr ethnic group]

Source: Sudan Radio Service website, Nairobi, in English 22 Jul 13

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