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Malnutrition cases increasing among Darfur IDPs: official

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Thousands of people, mostly women and children, take refuge at a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID's base in Um Baru, North Darfur, on 27 January 2015 (UNAMID Photo)
July 14, 2017 (NYALA) - A growing number of children and elderly are malnourished at Darfur camps for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to the reduction of food rations provided by the World Food Programme (WFP), said IDPs official.

In its weekly bulletin on 24 June, the U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said a recent survey conducted by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found critical levels of acute malnutrition in Jebel Marra.

However, the health minister of Central Darfur state, Musa Khatir, said the UNICEF report is “inaccurate”, pointing the UN body issued its report without consulting with the official organs on the authenticity of the information.

The humanitarian official at the Darfur Refugees and IDPs Association Salih Idris told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that “malnutrition cases among children and the elderly are growing continuously”.

He attributed the spread of the disease among IDPs to the 60% reduction of food rations provided by the WFP, since more than two years, saying the move has adversely impacted on the IDPs health conditions especially children.

Idris pointed out that foreign aid groups had left the region following pressures from the Sudanese government.

In December 2015, the Sudanese government suspended Tearfund, an international aid group active in Darfur, accusing it of violating the law and interfering in the internal affairs of the country.

Immediately after the first arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudan’s president Omer al-Bashir in March 2009, Sudan expelled 13 aid groups from Darfur accusing it of collaborating with the war crime courts.

Since then, the activities of foreign aid group in Darfur are strictly controlled and more organisations were evicted through the years.

Sudan refuses to allow new aid groups to work in the region.

(ST)

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