UN cuts food rations in Darfur

April 18th, 2008 - 2:27 am ICT by admin  

New York, April 18 (DPA) The World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday bandits had stolen substantial food supplies in Sudan’s Darfur region, forcing it to halve next month the daily rations for people in need. The daily cereal rations will be reduced to 225 grams per person, sugar to 15 grams and pulses to 30 grams, WFP said. The rationing will cut the amount of calories needed daily person by 40 percent, from the recommended 2,156 to 1,242 kilo-calories.

WFP said attacks by thieves reduced by half the number of trucks with food supplies reaching Darfur. It said the Sudanese government provided police escorts for WFP convoys, but the escorts were overwhelmed by banditry.

WFP said 60 contracted trucks had been hijacked this year in Darfur, 39 of which were still missing and 26 drivers unaccounted for. Trucks were supposed to deliver up to 1,800 tonnes of food every day, but deliveries have dropped to 900 tons a day.

Kenro Oshidari, WFP representative in Sudan, has appealed to rebel factions and their commanders to ensure security on routes travelled by the convoys and to respect the neutrality of relief workers.

“If the security situation on the roads improves, we will be able to restore the ration levels,” he said.

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