UN: Sudan famine worsening

Akobo - Skeletal children fill a hospital ward in south-eastern Sudan and elderly villagers too frail to walk lie helplessly outside in what the UN says is the "hungriest place on earth".

Aid groups Save the Children and Medair found in a recent survey that almost 46% of children in the region are malnourished. The groups say more than 250 children in Akobo alone are severely malnourished and will die without immediate intervention.

The UN says two years of failed rains and tribal clashes have laid the foundation for a humanitarian crisis. The World Food Programme (WFP) quadrupled its assistance levels earlier this year and is now feeding 80 000 people in the town near the Ethiopian border. The UN says 4.3 million people in southern Sudan need assistance this year.

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