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More money is needed to cover Darfur humanitarian aid: UN agency says

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Some 63,000 IDPs sought refuge in a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID's team site in Sortoni, North Darfur on 23 April 2016 (Photo UNAMID/Mohamed al-Mahady)
September 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - United Nations agencies and aid groups are in need for more money to cover the humanitarian needs of civilians displaced by the fighting in Darfur area of Jebel Marra, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on Thursday.

Between 159,000 and 194,000 people have been affected by the fighting in the mountainous area between the Sudanese army and the Sudan Liberation Movement -Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) since January 2016.

UN agencies say a signification portion of the registered displaced persons are hosted in North Darfur while the majority resides in Central Darfur state.

According to the "Jebel Marra Crisis Fact Sheet" that UNOCHA released on Thursday, the UN and partners diverted funds from existing projects to respond to the unexpected humanitarian needs in Jebel Marra.

Also, some 10 million US dollar were allocated to cover the humanitarian needs of civilians displaced in North Darfur State, while the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) has provided over $ 2.7 million for the IDPs in Central Darfur State.

"However, partners are finding it difficult to respond with existing resources, especially in South Darfur, and more sustained funding is key to ensuring an appropriate response," said the report.

The fact sheet says the governmental Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) reported that 45,000 people have returned to their villages in Central Darfur, stressing that the UN agencies were not able to verify these figures.

In addition, the report pointed to the need to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to the estimated 50,000 - 85,000 civilians in the conflict-affected areas, particularly in the region.

"(UN) Humanitarian partners continue significant engagement with government actors to advocate for access to assess needs and assist people in areas where access has not been possible for at least four years, including inner Jebel Marra and particularly Golo, Central Darfur, where an inter-agency and UN - African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) scoping mission together with the Government took place in early August,’’ the report.

The Sudanese government said last April that Jebel Marra is free of rebels, but the army continues to carry out air attacks in the area. Also, UN officials in the region confirmed the existence of rebels in some pockets of Jebel Marra.

The SLM-AW is not part of the African-Union sponsored peace process.

(ST)

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