UN seeks almost $1 billion aid for war-ravaged Sudan

The UN and its aid partners in Sudan need almost $1 billion to address humanitarian needs resulting from the Darfur conflict and wars in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, officials said Wednesday.

In one of the world's largest humanitarian operations, the agencies hope donors will provide $983 million this year to fund food, water, sanitation and other assistance for 4.3 million needy.

"Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by fighting in Sudan over the last year," said Mark Cutts, head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"Hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless, continue to live out in the open or in very temporary accommodation, often in really appalling conditions," Cutts said.

He spoke to aid workers and diplomats at the launch of the UN's 2013 Work Plan developed with local and foreign aid agencies as well as Sudanese authorities.

The funding target is down slightly from last year even though the UN aims to assist more people.

By late 2012, it had obtained only about half of the roughly $1 billion it hoped for last year. The Work Plan said "donor fatigue" and restrictions on access for aid agencies were partly to blame for the reduced funding.