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First UN food aid in months arrives in Sudan’s Darfur as famine looms

The United Nations has begun distributing food in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region for the first time in months amid warnings of impending famine caused by a yearlong war and lack of access to food aid.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said two aid convoys crossed the border from Chad in late March, carrying food and nutrition assistance for about 250,000 people for a month.

Food distribution is now under way in West and Central Darfur, the WFP’s Sudan spokeswoman, Leni Kinzli, said on Friday.

The deliveries on Friday were the first WFP cross-border aid convoys to reach Darfur in western Sudan following lengthy negotiations to reopen humanitarian corridors from Chad after permission was revoked in February by authorities loyal to the Sudanese army.

In April last year, a rivalry between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamad Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, broke into open conflict.

The battle is now causing one of the world’s worst hunger crises, and about a third of the population, or 18 million people, face acute hunger, UN aid agencies said.

The world body warned in March that 222,000 children could die from malnutrition in the coming months unless their aid needs are urgently met.

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