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A humanitarian storm brewing in Sudan: UN

A "humanitarian perfect storm" is brewing in southern Sudan, putting no less than 40 per cent of the local population at risk, a top UN official said on Thursday.

world Updated: Aug 13, 2009 11:10 IST

A "humanitarian perfect storm" is brewing in southern Sudan, putting no less than 40 per cent of the local population at risk, a top UN official said on Thursday.

A spiraling inter-tribal conflict, a massive food shortage and a lingering budget crisis have contributed to the present situation, said Lise Grande, UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the region.

As many as 200 people have died in inter-tribal violence since January and the violence has displaced more than 250,000 others.

The UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters at the UN headquarters here that southern Sudan also faces an acute food shortage caused by a combination of delayed seasonal rains and widespread insecurity and high food prices due to a 40 per cent drop in government revenues.

This situation has left 1.2 million people dependent on food assistance from the World food Programme and is made worse by a lack of funding for humanitarian work. So far this year, only 59 of the required 412 million dollars have been disbursed.

In Darfur, the UN African Union Mission says that 200 peacekeepers from Tanzania joined its ranks earlier today.

The newly-arrived troops are part of an advance party tasked with setting up a camp for an even larger contingent of Tanzanians expected to join the Mission in September. The Mission also notes that it now has some 14,180 troops, which represents more than 70 per cent of its authorised strength, Okabe said.