The unrest in Sudan has the potential to plunge millions more into hunger, the World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday as it has been forced to temporarily cease operations, reports Anadolu Agency.
“Record numbers of people were already facing hunger in Sudan before the conflict erupted on April 15. In 2023, WFP planned to support more than 7.6 million people,” it said in a statement.
“The ongoing fighting is preventing WFP from delivering critical emergency food, providing school meals for children, or preventing and treating malnutrition.”
The UN agency said it also cannot carry out its efforts to assist farmers in increasing agricultural output in a scheme aimed at more than doubling Sudan’s annual wheat production, nor can it assist people in rebuilding their livelihoods.
Regarding the impact of the unrest in Sudan on WFP, the statement noted that three WFP employees died and two were severely injured.
Meanwhile, the UN Humanitarian Air Service managed by WFP on behalf of the international community has been completely grounded. One aircraft has been damaged beyond repair and at least 10 vehicles and six food trucks have been stolen, it said.
WFP guesthouses, offices, and warehouses in the city of Nyala in South Darfur state have been overrun and looted, with the loss of up to 4,000 metric tons of food for hungry people, it added.
The agency “calls on all parties to the conflict to take immediate steps to guarantee the safety of humanitarian workers and to protect humanitarian assets and premises in Sudan,” it said.
“WFP urges all parties to put an end to the fighting and come to an agreement that enables the continued delivery of vital food and humanitarian assistance.”