African Press International (API)

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The need for food aid in Sudan has dropped

Posted by African Press International on April 13, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday the demand for food aid in South Sudan has dropped by 19 percent since the signing of a landmark peace deal, which ended the civil war in the region.

In a statement, OCHA said a recent food needs assessment in Southern Sudan has indicated that food needs have dropped due to increased food production in the south following the end of the 21-year war in the region.

OCHA said while meningitis and acute diarrhoea have killed over 700 people in the vast region since the beginning of the year, the food security situation is slowly improving.

“Food aid planned for 2007 will be 108,000 metric tons, down by 19 percent compared to 133,000 metric tons in 2006. But the real change is not so much about tonnage, but rather about how food is used,” said World Food Program Coordinator Justin Bagirishya.

“The global picture shows an increase in Southern Sudan’s food production, from 805,000 metric tons in 2005 to 838,000 metric tons in 2006, marking a 4 percent improvement. For a territory that just came out of two decades of war, this is not bad,” Bagirishya said.

The improvement, he said, is in good part due to the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.

“In addition, the improvement in the road network allows for much better transport and trade, which has led to the opening of new markets,” said Eliane Duthoit, head of OCHA in Juba.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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