Calling for urgent action, The United Nations: The Sudan war caused the displacement of 8 million people Calling for urgent action, The United Nations: The Sudan war caused the displacement of 8 million people

Calling for urgent action, The United Nations: The Sudan war caused the displacement of 8 million people

Calling for urgent action, The United Nations: The Sudan war caused the displacement of 8 million people

The United Nations announced that the battles between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces led to the displacement of “about eight million” people, calling for urgent assistance to meet their needs.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said on Wednesday that the battles between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan led to the displacement of “about eight million” people, during his visit to Ethiopia, calling for urgent assistance to meet their needs.

Grande added in a press conference held in Addis Ababa that the conflict led to "the displacement of about 8 million people from their homes in Sudan, the majority of whom were displaced internally, and also increasingly abroad."

He explained that "more than 1.5 million took refuge in neighboring countries: Egypt, Chad, Central Africa, South Sudan and Ethiopia."

Grandi revealed that “the crisis in Sudan, which has caused enormous human suffering..., is facing a weakness in funding,” noting that “less than 40% of the budget” required was provided last year.

He stressed, "This is unacceptable. I understand that there are other crises that are more obvious. But that does not mean that there is no urgent need."

On January 21, the number of people displaced by the conflict in Sudan reached 7.6 million, nearly half of them children, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Since April to this date, about 517,000 people have crossed the border between Sudan and South Sudan, according to the same source.

Since April 15, 2023, there has been fighting between the Sudanese army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti.”

The war killed more than 13,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Ethiopia: nearly 400 people died of starvation in Tigray and Amhara

Nearly 400 people have died of starvation in Ethiopia's Tigray and Amhara regions in recent months, the national ombudsman said Tuesday, a rare admission of hunger-related deaths from a federal agency.

Local officials have previously reported famine deaths in their districts, but Ethiopia 's federal government has insisted these reports are "completely false" .

The Ethiopian ombudsman's office has sent experts to the regions, which are plagued by drought and still reeling from a devastating civil war that officially ended 14 months ago. They concluded that 351 people died of starvation in Tigray over the past six months, and another 44 in Amhara .

Only a small fraction of needy people in Tigray are receiving food aid , according to a briefing seen by The Associated Press, more than a month after aid agencies resumed grain deliveries following a long interruption due to flights.

Only 14% of the 3.2 million people targeted by humanitarian agencies in Tigray this month had received food aid as of January 21, according to the memo from the Tigray Food Cluster , a group of aid agencies co-chaired by the United Nations World Food Program and Ethiopian officials.

The memo urges humanitarian groups to "immediately scale up" their operations, warning that "failure to take rapid action will result in severe food insecurity and malnutrition during the lean season, with possible loss of the most vulnerable children and women of the region" .

The United Nations and the United States cut off food aid to Tigray in mid-March last year, after uncovering a "large-scale" plan to steal humanitarian grain . The suspension was extended to the rest of Ethiopia in June. American authorities believe this theft could be the largest grain embezzlement ever. Donors accused Ethiopian government officials and the military of being behind the fraud.

The United Nations and the United States lifted the pause in December after introducing reforms aimed at reducing flights, but authorities in Tigray say food is not reaching those who need it.

Two aid workers told the AP that the new system - which includes installing GPS trackers on food trucks and adding QR codes to ration cards - has been hampered by technical problems. Humanitarian agencies also face a lack of funds.

A third aid worker said the pause in food aid and slow recovery mean some people in Tigray have not received food aid for more than a year. “They have gone through many phases of registration and verification, but no distribution has taken place yet ,” the aid worker said.

The aid workers spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Around 20.1 million people in Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian food due to drought, conflict and a collapsing economy . The interruption of aid has made hunger even worse.

The US-funded Famine Early Warning System has warned that hunger crisis levels or worse "are expected in northern, southern and southeastern Ethiopia at least until 'at the beginning of 2024' . A former WFP director called these famine levels a "march towards famine" .

In the Amhara region, which shares a border with Tigray, a rebellion that broke out in August is hampering humanitarian movements and making distributions difficult, while several regions of Ethiopia have been devastated by a multi-year drought.

Child malnutrition rates in parts of Ethiopia's Afar, Amhara and Oromia regions range between 15.9% and 47%, according to a presentation by Ethiopia's nutrition cluster reviewed by the AP. Among displaced children in Tigray, the rate is 26.5%. The Ethiopia Nutrition Cluster is co-chaired by the United Nations Children's Fund and the Federal Government.

Tigray, home to 5.5 million people, has been at the center of a devastating two-year civil war that has left hundreds of thousands dead and spread to neighboring regions. A group of United Nations experts accused the Ethiopian government of using "starvation as a method of war" by limiting food aid to Tigray during the conflict, which ended in November 2022 with a peace agreement .

Persistent insecurity meant that only 49% of Tigray's agricultural land was planted during the main planting season last year, according to an assessment by UN agencies, NGOs and regional authorities, and seen by the 'AP.

Due to drought, agricultural production in these regions reached only 37% of the planned total. In some regions, the proportion was as low as 2%.

The poor harvest has prompted Tigray authorities to warn of an "ongoing famine" that could equal the 1984-1955 disaster, which killed hundreds of thousands of people in northern Ethiopia, unless aid is immediately increased.

But the Ethiopian federal government denies the existence of a large-scale food crisis. Last month, when Tigray leader Getachew Reda sounded the alarm about impending mass famine, a federal government spokesperson called the reports " inaccurate" and accused of “politicizing the crisis” .

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