Commodity prices rise, medical supplies shrink in war-hit Sudan

Wednesday May 03 2023
hospital in Darfur region

An abandoned hospital in West Darfur's capital El Geneina as deadly fighting continues in Sudan. Medical stockpiles are running low in Khartoum as well as West and Central Darfur. PHOTO | AFP


The fighting in Sudan has caused skyrocketing commodity prices critically shrinking medical stockpiles and hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that many will die due to a lack of essential services and disease outbreaks. Medical stockpiles are running critically low in areas ravaged by the fighting, including in the capital Khartoum as well as West and Central Darfur.

“From fuel to food staples and bottled water, the price of basic commodities has risen by 40-60 percent or more in some areas,” WHO said.

WFP reported that approximately one-third of the population of more than 46 million people faced hunger before the conflict erupted, noting that the violence could potentially plunge millions more people into hunger.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 334,000 people have been displaced inside Sudan since the conflict erupted more than two weeks ago.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and partners are scaling up relief efforts as border crossings from Sudan increase. It estimates that more than 100,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.


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“Most are Sudanese refugees arriving in Chad and Egypt and refugees from South Sudan returning to their homes,” UNHCR said. The refugees are mainly women and children.

The UN Children's Fund said it provides critical water, sanitation and hygiene support to six Khartoum hospitals and trucks water to a hospital in North Darfur. The agency also directed health and nutrition kits to health centres in the state capital, El Fasher. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said that in neighbouring Chad, aid agencies are bringing in roughly 70,000 core relief items from global stockpiles.

“In Egypt, UNHCR and other UN agencies are assessing the needs of people from Sudan,” OCHA said.

The UN and the Egyptian Red Crescent deliver water, food, wheelchairs, and hygiene and sanitary kits to new arrivals. Humanitarians plan to launch an interagency regional refugee response plan appeal to address urgent financial needs as soon as possible.