Flooding and rising food and health costs in Sudan have driven up the number of people in need, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.
According to reports, more than 860 000 people have had houses destroyed or damaged and more than 120 people have died due to the flooding that has been ravaging the country since July.
In a statement issued by the UN, the humanitarian organisation said the response by UN agencies and partners had reached more than 400 000 people, including emergency shelter and essential household items relief to more than 181 000 flood-affected refugees, 1.87-million internally displaced people and Sudanese across the country.
Not-for-profit media outlet Middle East Monitor reports that Sudan has called on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to provide urgent help to protect the archaeological sites of Meroe, north of Khartoum, from the floods.
According to a report the request was made during a meeting between Sudan’s permanent representative to Unesco, Jubeir Ismail Jubeir, and the organisation’s assistant director-general for culture, Ottone Ramirez, in Paris on Sunday, according to a Sudan News Agency (SUNA) article.
Sunday’s meeting covered the threats to the archaeologically significant areas of Napata and Meroe, which are World Heritage Sites.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s annual inflation rate surged to 136.36% in June and 170% in August as struggling citizens battle to acquire essential goods, sparking further fears that the Covid-19 pandemic will cripple the economy.
The Sudanese pound lost 40% of its value in one month, while many Sudanese food manufacturers have stopped production and distribution, leading to a scarcity of goods and higher prices, according to a report by Voice of America.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Adam Hamdok told the UN General Assembly in September that his country was eager to again contribute to the international community but will need assistance as it works to revitalise its tattered economy.
The Sudanese transitional government declared a three-month state of emergency in September as the country battles its worst flooding in 30 years.