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How the war in Sudan deepens an African aid crisis

HISTORY: Halime Yacoub Issac fled violence in Sudan with her five children. Four days after their arrival in neighboring Chad, they still have not received any help. “We are completely dependent on the food that the Chadian families in the neighboring village give us. We have young children and we cannot go to work and let them starve to death alone. “While aid agencies rush to distribute food and register new arrivals, resources are scarce. And the situation seems to be getting much worse. Parts of Africa have already faced a deepening series of crises, from droughts to floods, and a growing list of armed conflicts. Demand for life-saving humanitarian aid has grown Another five million people in Sudan will need emergency assistance. According to an internal UN estimate, half of them would be children. As of October, some 860,000 people are said to have fled to neighboring countries, including Chad, which has its own dire humanitarian crisis. But as demand escalates, resources are reduced. An analysis of UN funding data for Africa shows that financial support from major donor governments is waning. That’s on a continent that was already facing a $17 billion funding gap for UN humanitarian appeals before the recent crisis. Here is World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain during a visit to Somalia this month: “There will be fewer resources this year. I pray there isn’t, but the reality is that there are fewer and we need to work to do more with less and will likely grow. That’s because Europe is focused on the war in Ukraine, Britain is turning inward after Brexit, and some lawmakers in the United States are seeking budget cuts. Meanwhile, desperation is growing among Sudan’s refugees. On Sunday (May 7), Chadian soldiers used whips to beat back dozens of women who were grabbing supplies in a border village. But every day hundreds more are trekking through desert scrub and dry riverbeds to reach the Chadian border in search of safety. Sitting in a rare patch of shade surrounded by other refugees, Issac says they hope Sudan’s crisis will be over soon so they can return home. If not, they will go looking for work. “We have orphans here,” she says, and “no one thinks about how we feed them.”


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