Urgent hunger crisis grips Sudan as the nation marks one-year of conflict

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South Sudan, FAO launch project to boost food security

Today, April 15th, marks one-year anniversary of conflict in Sudan and one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises as many are now exposed to acute food insecurity resulting into an urgent hunger crisis.

Nearly 18 million people, or one in three Sudanese, face high levels of acute food insecurity and five million are dealing with emergency levels of hunger. Conflict and hunger have forced 8.2 million people from their homes.

According to Samy Guessabi, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in Sudan, and Sulaiman Ken Sesay, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director for South Sudan, the conflict in Sudan has opened a pandora’s box of problems.

The escalation of hostilities has caused extensive damage and disruption to essential infrastructure and services, including those required for food production, processing and distribution, water, and health care facilities.

Across the country, multiple factories and food production markets have been burned and destroyed and food aid has been looted on a massive scale. Although local markets continue to function in many areas of the country, families have lost considerable purchasing power.

The most vulnerable bear the brunt of the conflict. Some 2.9 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, including 700,000 children under five who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, the most dangerous and deadly form of extreme hunger. 200,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers could lose their lives to hunger in the coming months unless urgent life-saving assistance and funding is provided.

“This is the worst level of hunger ever recorded during the harvest season, which ends in February each year. This is usually a period when more food is available. It is a clear sign of the total collapse of livelihoods for Sudanese families and the threat of mass starvation,” warned Guessabi.

While hunger increases, funding does not; “Last year, only 50% of funding needs were met. Despite this, the humanitarian community did its best to address urgent priorities, providing humanitarian assistance to 7 million people in 2023,” said Guessabi.

Despite the difficulties, Action Against Hunger in Sudan has reached almost half a million people with its humanitarian aid and supported thousands of displaced people.