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25 million people starving in Sudan as war rages on: WFP

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: February 19, 2024

Sudanese refgugees. (Photo: WFP)

At least 25 million people are struggling to feed themselves in Sudan as thousands pour out of the war-torn country into South Sudan and Chad, the UN food agency WFP said.

World Food Program (WFP) said hunger and acute malnutrition have soared in Sudan since the conflict broke out between Rapid Support Force (RSF) and Sudan Armed Force (SAF) on April 15, 2023.
In a press statement on Monday, the agency said there are 18 million acutely food insecure people in Sudan and around 3.8 million children under 5 years old who are malnourished in the country.
“Most are trapped in areas of active fighting where WFP and other aid agencies are struggling to maintain consistent access. Those who can escape are fleeing to places like South Sudan or Chad, adding to already dire humanitarian situations in both countries,” the statement said.
“Those arriving in South Sudan are joining families already struggling with slashed rations and extreme hunger. Malnutrition is increasing rapidly among children who are languishing in temporary transit camps.”
WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa Michael Dunford, who visited Renk town of Upper Nile State in South Sudan, said the Sudan conflict has created the world largest refugee crisis.

“The impact of this conflict spans three countries – Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad – and has created the world’s largest displacement crisis. Almost a year into the war and we’re seeing no signs that the number of families fleeing across borders will slow,” said Mr. Dunford.

The WFP official was in the transit center near the Sudan border to assess the situation of those fleeing the conflict.

According to WFP data, about 4 percent of the displaced children who are under the age of five years become malnourished upon arrival.

“Unless this conflict is resolved, unfettered access is granted to humanitarian agencies, and funding is received, this crisis will only worsen,” said Dunford.

“We need to be able to provide support to families in Sudan to avoid the world’s largest displacement crisis turning into a hunger catastrophe as we approach the lean season”.

More than 500,000 people have arrived in South Sudan from Sudan since the conflict erupted last year, according to the UN humanitarian agency.

In Chad, more than 553,000 Sudanese, mainly from Darfur, have fled since the conflict broke out, WFP said.

It added that around 40 percent of refugee children brought to an emergency clinic at a reception camp were found to be suffering from acute malnutrition.

“WFP has had to priorities scarce resources to the new arrivals, many of whom are crossing the border with nothing. This means pre-existing refugees no longer receive assistance, yet they are not necessarily in better shape than those arriving today.”

It further said humanitarian assistance is vital and yet the agency is facing an $300 million funding gap for the next six months.







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