Friday July 7, 2023

Medicine and food are running low in Nertiti, West Jabal Marra Locality in Central Darfur as armed groups surround the town, stopping new supplies from coming in, Islamic Relief says.

Residents in the town have told Islamic Relief they fear an attack is imminent any day now with the armed groups camped around 1km outside Nertiti. But they can’t flee because civilians will be shot or robbed if they leave, and supplies can’t get in due to the high risk of being looted on the road.

Many health facilities in Nertiti are operating minimally as they are running low on medicine and other medical supplies. Islamic Relief is the only international NGO still operating health clinics in the town, as well as running therapeutic feeding programmes for malnourished children and donating medical supplies to the town’s hospital. However, Islamic Relief’s supplies will also run out within weeks unless more can be brought in soon.

Islamic Relief is calling for armed groups on all sides of the conflict to urgently ensure that humanitarian aid and other essential supplies can be safely delivered into Nertiti and other towns across Sudan.

Sudan is one of the most dangerous places to deliver aid at the moment, with at least 15 aid workers killed since fighting broke out in April and around 120 humanitarian premises raided or looted.

Nearly 12 weeks of fighting in Sudan has now forced more than 2.8 million people to flee their homes and there are growing risks of disease outbreaks in the camps for displaced people, with children dying from measles and other preventable illnesses. Around a quarter of the displaced people are from Darfur, and in Nertiti thousands of people have fled into the town from surrounding villages to seek safety and services such as healthcare, putting even greater strain on the clinics.

Food stocks are also running low in many Darfur towns. In Nertiti the market is now open for just two hours a day and in Zalingei the market is closed completely, with residents scared to even leave their homes for fear of being attacked and armed groups reportedly looting what little food people have left.

Elsadig Elnour, Islamic Relief’s Country Director in Sudan, says:

Our clinics in Nertiti are still operating for now, and they provide impartial medical care to patients from all communities. For many people they are the only health services available. But the drugs and medical supplies we have in stock will run out soon unless they can be resupplied and right now the extreme insecurity and lawlessness makes it impossible to restock. It is vital that all sides to the conflict allow humanitarian aid such as medicine and food to safely reach people in need.

Since the conflict broke out in Sudan in mid-April Islamic Relief has provided more than 71,000 people with aid including food, medicine, hygiene kits and cash assistance so that displaced people can buy what they need.

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