Sudan: Foreseen Tragedy Now Unfolds as Over 20 Million Face Starvation
Sudan is currently facing a devastating hunger crisis, as predicted by experts. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that over 20 million people in Sudan are now experiencing severe acute hunger due to conflict-induced food scarcity. Shockingly, 6.3 million people, which accounts for 13% of Sudan’s population, are on the brink of famine (Phase 4 of the Integrated Food Security Classification). The ongoing conflict has disrupted access to humanitarian aid and forced millions to flee their homes, exacerbating the dire hunger situation.
Eddie Rowe, WFP Country Director for Sudan, reflected on the challenging environment in Sudan, stating that it is the most difficult situation he has faced in his 30-year career. He emphasized that the conflict has been spreading since mid-April, making it increasingly complex to reach those in need of life-saving food assistance. Bureaucratic barriers, looting of humanitarian facilities, and insecurity further hinder aid delivery. Tragically, 18 relief workers have lost their lives, with many others injured or detained. The situation is worsened by funding shortages, fuel scarcity, and inadequate infrastructure.
Despite these immense challenges, there was a recent breakthrough when WFP successfully delivered food assistance to West Darfur, an area heavily affected by the conflict. A convoy of five trucks transported 125 tons of food commodities from eastern Chad to West Darfur, providing one month’s worth of food assistance to approximately 15,400 people. WFP hopes that this route will become a regular humanitarian corridor to reach families in West Darfur, particularly in Geneina, the capital of the region, which has been devastated by violence.
However, the situation remains catastrophic in West and Central Darfur. Many towns and villages have been abandoned due to a mass exodus of people, leaving critical infrastructure, such as health facilities and banks, destroyed. The remaining population consists mostly of vulnerable women and children who are too afraid to flee. Their husbands have been killed, injured, or are missing. These families are barely surviving, often only consuming one meal a day. They share their limited food with neighbors and sell their belongings to afford basic sustenance.
In response to the crisis, WFP has provided emergency food and nutrition assistance to 1.6 million people across Sudan, including those trapped in Khartoum State, since the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces erupted in April. However, delivering aid in Khartoum is challenging due to the volatile situation. The WFP official stressed that UN and humanitarian workers are doing everything they can to provide support in Darfur and across Sudan. He called on all parties involved in the conflict to facilitate humanitarian access and ensure the safe delivery of assistance.
Source: UN News