Sudan: Conflict Could Spark World’s Biggest Hunger Crisis

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The agency hopes to expand assistance to five million more people by the end of this year, which would double the number of beneficiaries it expected to reach by early 2024.

On Friday, the World Food Programme (WFP) stated that the looming threat of famine in Sudan demands more support, as the WFP expands its operations in the face of the risk of the world’s biggest famine crisis.

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The UN agency confirmed this week that it will expand its efforts as it considers the country to be “in a situation of widespread hunger and malnutrition”.

According to WFP’s regional director for East Africa, Michael Dunford, the programme is seeking to reach millions more people who are living through the daily horrors of war while international support is insufficient.

According to the UN, 18 million Haitians are acutely food insecure in Sudan, a figure that has nearly tripled since 2019, while nearly five million suffer from emergency levels of hunger.

#ThisJustIn: 65,000+ ppl in Central Darfur are receiving urgent food & nutrition aid

More assistance is getting into #Darfur in the coming days, w/ another convoy ready to deliver supplies via Tine/Chad border

This is critical as the lean season starts & ppl run out of food pic.twitter.com/mdKBOm2Bn9

— WFP Sudan (@WFP_Sudan) June 7, 2024

“The world cannot claim that it does not know how dire the situation in Sudan is or that it does not know that urgent action is needed,” Dunford said, calling for the attention and support needed to avert a nightmare scenario for the Sudanese.

The agency hopes to expand assistance to five million more people by the end of this year, which would double the number of beneficiaries it expected to reach by early 2024.

As part of this effort, WFP will provide cash assistance to 1.2 million people in 12 states to boost local markets, as well as increase wheat production by working with smallholder farmers, many of them displaced by the conflict.

However, the programme is alarmed by the ongoing violence, which is the main obstacle to reaching those most in need.

According to its estimates, some 90 per cent of those living in emergency conditions are in areas where access is extremely limited due to heavy fighting.

“The situation is already catastrophic and has the potential to get even worse unless support reaches all those affected by the conflict,” the regional director said.

The situation for civilians has become more complex since the expansion of hostilities into the town of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, which could trigger a massacre in the last stronghold of the Sudanese forces that now remains under siege by their rivals, the paramilitary Rapid Reaction Forces (RSF).

The city is the only remaining area in Darfur not entirely controlled by the RSF.

It is also a refuge for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, including survivors of previous RSF attacks who sought refuge in the area.

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