Trees, leaves - final food in Sudan state
09 January 2013, 09:15
New York - Tens of thousands of families in Sudan's conflict-stricken South Kordofan have been reduced to eating tree bark and leaves, a top UN official told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
John Ging, a UN humanitarian co-ordinator, told the council that 80% of families in South Kordofan, where rebels are battling government forces, were living on one meal a day or less, according to diplomats in a closed meeting on tensions between Sudan and South Sudan.
Most are surviving on "trees and leaves," Ging was quoted as saying.
Aid agencies say there is a deadly humanitarian crisis in rebel-held zones of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
The Khartoum government has refused access to outside humanitarian workers.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution in May last year which demanded aid access and threatened "additional measures" if it was not given.
Ging said it was "imperative" for the council to follow up on the threat.
Kordofan and Blue Nile are on the border with South Sudan and conflict erupted there after South Sudan broke away from the Arab-dominated north in July 2011.
The UN has estimated that more than 900 000 people have been affected by the war in Kordofan and Blue Nile.
About 200 000 have fled to South Sudan and Ethiopia, and UN officials have said repeatedly in recent months that those remaining face near famine conditions.