In a small hospital in the Nuba Mountains, Dr. Raphael Veicht, a physician with Cap Anamur Emergency Doctors, has seen a sharp increase in malnourished children over the past five months.
Fighting in the region has forced people to flee their farms or prevented them from harvesting crops and food supplies are dangerously low. Most people are not aware of the benefits of the hospital. One mother from Debi brought her child who was severely malnourished and suffering from dysentery. When she learned that the hospital could provide food as well, she returned with two more of her children, each severely malnourished. Veicht believes that there are numerous cases of starving people who simply live too far from a hospital to receive help.
The hunger epidemic is the result of governmental failures, Dr. Veicht believes. He refers to the Tripartite Humanitarian Agreement, signed by the UN, African Union and League of Arab States, that many believed would usher in the resources so desperately needed by the Nuban people. The agreement, signed on August 4th, 2012, stated that an assessment team would travel to the Nuba region to determine the needs of the people and deliver food aid. These terms were set to commence two weeks after signing the agreement. It has been nearly two months and still no sign of help. Without food aid, families will continue to subsist on nutritionally inadequate leaves and roots until they too succumb to malnourishment. Veicht is skeptical about aid delivery. “As long as this government is in place, ” he says, “there won’t be any kind of food aid to the people in the Nuba Mountains.”