Challenges in Sudan Worsen Food Crisis

By: Saira Malhotra

The Voice of America reported this week on the crisis taking place between Southern Sudan and Sudan. Since Southern Sudan declared independence, the fighting has not ceased. However, in addition to the  fighting between Sudan and Southern Sudan, there has also been inter-tribal fighting in the Southern state of Jonglei.

Oxfam is concerned that the fighting could result in a food shortage due to the precarious situation at the border that has made it difficult for agriculture and aid to get to the area. Sudan's Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states are at great risk as Northern Governments engage in battle with rebel groups of the South.

According to Joanna Trevor, Oxfam humanitarian policy advisor, "There are estimates that the people in parts of those states will be reaching an emergency level, which is phase four, which is one below famine..This is because of not being able to get to the areas to plant and now to not harvest following the rainy season due to the conflict and insecurity."

Approximately 55,000 people are seeking refuge at camps and the numbers keep growing. There are also concerns regarding how long aid agencies will be able to provide assistance since one cap has already been bombed. Trevor said "I think that security is going to be one of the big concerns going forward, which is why at Oxfam we have been asking or calling for the international community alongside the African Union to really push for a cessation of hostilities and ensure that the fighting stops and that people can receive aid".

Sudan is not the only country where fighting is adding further burden to food shortage. Somalia also has its plate full of problems with militant group Al Shabaab. However, according to the Strategy Page, with the prominence of Kenyan forces in towns, such as, Fafadun Eladeand (by the border of Kenya), Al Shabaab is beginning to retreat. There are growing concerns that Al Shabaab is moving towards Baladwayne, though it is believed that their power is weakening as the terror group is finding it hard to recruit people and resorting to under-aged children.

For more information and a Brief History of Food and War, click here to read Food Republic's article. 

Photo: United Nations Photo

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