UNITED NATIONS, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Thursday released emergency funds of 26.5 million U.S. dollars to provide life-saving assistance in Sudan over the next six months.
The allocation from the world body's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will provide food, livelihood, nutrition, health, water and sanitation to over 800,000 people affected by a worsening economic crisis and food insecurity across seven states in Sudan, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a press release.
The aid will target internally displaced people, refugees, host communities, and vulnerable residents, it said.
"The economic crisis has had knock-on effects on the wider humanitarian situation that go beyond food insecurity," said UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock.
"Higher food prices mean that families are eating less nutritious food and more young children and pregnant women are getting sick. Families struggle to afford even limited medical treatment. With jobs lost, they are also being forced to pull their children out of schools."
Food insecurity has increased in Sudan with 5.8 million people projected to be food insecure between January and March 2019, a significant increase from 2018, while the numbers are likely to rise further in the lean season from May 2019, said the press release.
"The funds will help aid organizations ramp up the treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition among young children and pregnant women, provide safe drinking water, and repair and construct essential sanitation and hygiene facilities to mitigate preventable diseases," said Lowcock.
The allocation will also boost essential medical services and maternal, child and reproductive health care for 320,000 people, including the provision of medical supplies and equipment for 65 health facilities and the training of health care professionals and community health volunteers, said the press release.
Farmers and herders in targeted areas will also receive emergency agricultural and livestock inputs and training to improve food and livestock production for over half a million people, it said.
While the CERF allocation will be complemented by a 21-million-dollar contribution from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund, overall funding remains insufficient to meet the growing level of needs across Sudan. In 2019, the United Nations will seek 1 billion dollars to assist 4.4 million of the most vulnerable people in Sudan, said OCHA.
While violence has significantly reduced across the country, 1.9 million people remain displaced, and Sudan is hosting 1.2 million refugees, mainly from South Sudan.
CERF pools contributions from donors around the world into a single fund that allows humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises hit. On average, more than half of CERF-funded humanitarian action addresses the needs of women and girls.