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UN warns Sudan faces imminent threat of 'world's largest hunger crisis'

May 4, 2024 at 4:36 pm

Internally displaced Sudanese citizens suffer humanitarian aid shortage as they take shelter in a school building after migrating to the east due to the ongoing civil war between the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Port Sudan, Sudan on January 03, 2024. [Ömer Erdem – Anadolu Agency]

UN’s World Food Program (WFP) on Friday sounded the alarm about the situation in Sudan, saying the African country is on the brink of becoming the “world’s largest hunger crisis”, Anadolu reports.

Leni Kinzli, WFP’s spokesperson in Sudan, said at a virtual news conference that the agency is “warning that time is running out to prevent starvation” and that the escalation of clashes in El Fasher are hindering efforts in humanitarian assistance to the region.

“One year of this devastating conflict in Sudan has created an unprecedented hunger catastrophe and threatens to ignite the world’s largest hunger crisis,” she said, adding that food aid is limited in El Fasher and Darfur regions due to the “fighting and endless bureaucratic hurdles.”

Kinzli mentioned that they are attempting to reach 700,000 people before the start of the rainy season while roads are still usable and they have 8,000 tons of food stocks in Chad, but distribution is hindered due to constraints.

Highlighting WFP’s urgent need for unhindered access and security guarantees, she emphasized that the escalating conflict in El Fasher is deeply affecting the 1.7 million people already suffering from hunger.

READ: Violence shuts crucial aid corridor into Sudan’s Darfur, UN agency says

Noting that about 28 million people in Sudan and South Sudan are facing food insecurity, she called on the international community to take action.

Kinzli further reminded the parties in Sudan of their obligations to adhere to international humanitarian law.

The Sudanese army controls El Fasher, and it is supported by armed movements that signed the Juba peace agreement with the government in 2020.

The war in Sudan broke out in April 2023 over disagreements about integrating the RSF into the army between army Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The conflict has caused a devastating humanitarian crisis, and clashes have killed nearly 16,000 people and displaced millions.

On March 29, Sudan filed a complaint with the UN Security Council against the United Arab Emirates for allegedly supporting the RSF, which the UAE denied.

READ: US asks UAE to stop interfering in Sudan