UN seeks over $1b aid for war-ravaged Sudan
KHARTOUM (AFP) - The United Nations (UN) and its aid partners in Sudan need almost US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) to help victims of the Darfur conflict and wars in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, officials said on Wednesday, as funding becomes harder to obtain for the country's long-running crises.
In one of the world's largest humanitarian operations, the agencies hope donors will provide US$983 million this year to support food, water, sanitation and other assistance for 4.3 million needy people, most of them in the Darfur region, which has endured a decade of insurgency and other conflicts.
But officials admitted they face competition from global "hot spots" such as Syria, while restrictions on access to Sudan's needy led to reduced donor backing in 2012.
"Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by fighting in Sudan over the last year," said Mr Mark Cutts, head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.