Nearly two million people are expected to be affected by the move after assault and looting at three WFP warehouses.
The World Food Program (WFP) has suspended its operations in Sudan’s North Darfur state attacks this week at all three of its warehouses in the capital, El Fasher, including the theft of more than 5,000 metric tons (tons) of food.
The move is expected to affect nearly two million people in the area by 2022, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement on Thursday.
“We were forced to suspend WFP operations in North Darfur immediately,” said David Beasley, WFP’s executive director.
“This theft has robbed almost two million people of the food and nutrition support they so desperately need. Not only is this a huge setback for our operations across the country, but it jeopardizes our staff and jeopardizes our ability to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families. ”
WFP has called on Sudanese authorities to recover the looted stock and guarantee the safety and security of its operations in North Darfur.
Sudan is one of the poorest provinces in the world, with nearly 11 million people in need of food security and livelihoods by 2022.
The country’s state-run news agency SUNA reported that a number of suspects were arrested in El Fasher after being seen on trucks and cars pulled by animals loaded with food supplies allegedly stolen from the WFP warehouses.
WFP said the losses in El Fasher could not be supplemented with supplies currently in Sudan without sacrificing aid intended for vulnerable people in other parts of the country.
The suspension comes amid political upheaval that followed a military coup In October.
The seizures of power derailed a transition that began after long-ruled President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown after popular protests in 2019.
Large crowds of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest against military rule since the October 25 coup. They met violent repression, with more than 50 people killed by security forces, according to medics.