How Sudan's war is deepening an African aid crisis

STORY: Halime Yacoub Issac fled Sudan's violence with her five children.

Four days after arriving in neighboring Chad, they're yet to receive any assistance.

"We are totally dependent on the food given to us by the Chadian families in the next village. We have small children and we can't go to work and leave them alone to starve."

While aid agencies are rushing to distribute food and register new arrivals - resources are tight.

And the situation looks to get much worse.

Parts of Africa were already facing a deepening set of crises - from drought to floods as well as a growing list of armed conflicts.

The demand for life-saving humanitarian assistance has been growing.

Now, after conflict erupted between Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, an additional five million people in Sudan will need emergency assistance.

That's according to an internal U.N. estimate, that said half of them would be children.

By October some 860,000 people are expected to have fled to neighboring countries including Chad - which has its own dire humanitarian crisis.

But just as demand is escalating, resources are being diminished.

Analysis of U.N. funding data for Africa shows financial support from key donor governments is dropping off.

That's on a continent that was already facing a $17 billion funding gap for U.N. humanitarian appeals even before the latest crisis.

Here's the World Food Programme's executive director Cindy McCain during a visit to Somalia this month.

"There is going to be less funding this year. I pray that there won’t be but, the reality of it is that there is going to be less and so, we are going to have to work on doing more with less."

Aid workers, diplomats and donor government officials say funding gaps are likely to grow.

That's as Europe focuses on the war in Ukraine, post-Brexit Britain turns inward, and some lawmakers in the United States target budget cuts.

Meanwhile, desperation is growing among Sudan's refugees.

On Sunday (May 7), Chadian soldiers used whips to beat back dozens of women grabbing provisions in one border village.

But every day hundreds more trek across desert scrubland and dry riverbeds to reach Chad's border - seeking safety.

Sat in a rare patch of shade, surrounded by other refugees, Issac says they are hoping Sudan's crisis can end soon so they can return home.

If not they will go to look for work.

"We have orphaned children here" she says, and "no one is thinking of how we feed them".