The UN World Food Program says it’s been able to increase rations to millions of displaced people in Sudan’s Darfur region, but the amount of food it’s getting is still short of what it should be. Rations were cut at the beginning of May due to a lack of donations.
Peter Smeardon is a spokesperson for the WFP. From Khartoum, he spoke to VOA’s English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about food distribution in Darfur. He says, “The situation now is that thanks to the latest donations towards the emergency operations of the World Food Program in Darfur, we’re pleased to announce that we can increase the rations for more than two million people in Darfur from the 50% of the minimum daily requirement, which we had cut them down to at the beginning at the start of May to 84% of the minimum energy requirement…. The problem is we still need a lot more contributions to keep going. And hopefully we will be able to restore a full ration for the people in Darfur in October, but this still depends on more contributions.”
The WFP has been hard-pressed to meet its funding targets in Sudan, where its goal is to feed more than six million people this year, not just in Darfur, but also in eastern and southern Sudan. Smeardon says, “So far, we’ve received only 42% of the money and contributions we need to reach that goal in 2006.”