News and Information

UN scaling back Darfur food aid
October 13, 2004
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling back its projects in northern Darfur in Sudan because of deteriorating security.

The WFP says 50,000 people will be affected by the suspension of aid.

The decision comes after two aid workers from Save the Children were killed on Sunday by a land mine.

An estimated 50,000 people have died in 20 months in Darfur, in what the UN says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and the US calls genocide.

Some 1.4 million have also been made homeless as a result of attacks by pro-government Arab militias called Janjaweed.

Fresh violence

The Janjaweed are accused of killing thousands of black African civilians and emptying villages as part of a campaign against rebels in Darfur.

The WFP recently said access to refugees was improving.

But on Tuesday the UN said a month of fresh violence had driven more than 200,000 people from their homes.

The growing insecurity was making distribution of aid to the displaced more difficult, it said.

Fear of attack

Aid agencies have also reported robberies and armed attacks on their convoys.

"Internally displaced people remain nervous and fearful of attack when they leave locations where they have gathered for shelter," the WFP said in a statement.

The group hopes to be getting food to 2m people a month by the end of the year, but it says deteriorating security is making that prospect less likely.

No WFP staff have yet been killed or injured in the violence, though some contracted drivers had been wounded by gunfire, the group said.


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