UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
SUDAN: US agency warns of "forgotten tragedy"
NAIROBI, 25 March (IRIN) - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has warned that Sudan risks becoming a "forgotten tragedy".
Announcing aid to Sudan worth over US $130 million to date in the 1999 financial year, USAID's administrator Brian Atwood said the combination of prolonged civil war, widespread drought conditions and restricted access to affected populations in south Sudan continued to threaten the lives of over 2.36 million Sudanese.
"Sudan continues to be the world's greatest humanitarian crisis, but tends, due to the ever-growing number of disasters, to be what has come to be called a forgotten tragedy," he told a US sub-committee on African affairs on Wednesday.
"We must refocus international attention on Sudan - it is well beyond its time to see an end to this tragedy," Atwood said.
USAID is currently responding to needs in south Sudan through Operation Lifeline Sudan and other organisations. Its funds are used to support emergency food aid, disaster and development assistance.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has approved humanitarian aid worth 13.5 million euro (US $14.7 million) for victims of conflict in Sudan. The aid, managed by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), will support about 30 health, water and food security programmes over the next year, according to an ECHO statement.
"Humanitarian needs in Sudan are likely to stay very high in 1999," the statement pointed out. "Poor rains in December make the prospects for an adequate harvest in war-affected areas very bad. And analysts predict more military offensives, leading to further displacement of people with all the disruption that it implies." the statement said.
About a third of the funds made available will go to operations in government-controlled areas and the rest to areas controlled by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army or other southern factions, ECHO said.
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 16:57:20 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Sudan: US agency warns of "forgotten tragedy" 
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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