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Over 5 million Sudanese may face food shortages

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June 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Over five million Sudanese could face different levels of food shortages in the southern and western parts of the country where the government is fighting rebel groups said the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) on Thursday.

According to the USAID-funded network, forecasts suggest average to below average rainfall across the country. Given the country’s very poor cereal harvest last year, a below-average rainy season could negatively impact food security, particularly in Darfur. North Kordofan and areas hosting internally displaced people (IDPs) are also facing food shortages.

“Between 5 and 5.3 million people are likely to face varied levels of acute food insecurity until September,” said the USAID-funded network in its June report.

The group further pointed that “crisis” and “emergency” levels of food insecurity will continue among 40% of the displaced civilians and poor communities in the rebel held areas in South Kordofan.

In the SPLM-N zones of Blue Nile state, 25% of the IDPs may face “crisis” level, while the population in the government controlled areas are likely to face “stressed” level of food insecurity until September, the report said.

Sudanese army is carrying out a large scale offensive on the rebel positions in the South Kordofan state. The rebel claim that over 700,000 were forced to flee their villages as result of the ground and air attacks.

In Darfur, where UN agencies and local groups continue to provide humanitarian assistance and seasonal support to the IDPs and vulnerable communities, the American network said stressed level will persist among 30% of the affected population there.

(ST)

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