A dire food crisis is approaching in war-torn Sudan, according to a warning from the UN agency.
The most recent food security assessment by the World Food Programme (WFP) reveals the highest level of hunger ever documented during the harvest season (October to February), which is usually a time of increased food availability.
The agency warned that if assistance does not significantly increase before the lean season in May, areas of conflict like Khartoum, Darfur, and Kordofan could experience “catastrophic hunger” or Phase 5 on the IPC scale, the most severe level.
Families are running out of alternatives.
“Leni Kinzli, WFP Spokesperson in Sudan, stated via video conference from Nairobi that families are still facing difficulties in providing food for their households.”
In May, when the lean season begins and food supply decreases, they will have limited choices unless the WFP is able to provide consistent aid, according to the speaker.
The United Nations organization released a pressing plea for the conflicting groups to reach a consensus on a temporary ceasefire and assist in granting unrestricted entry to aid in saving the lives of individuals caught in ongoing battles.
Deepening hunger crisis
The country of Sudan, previously known as a potential source of food for East Africa, is facing a worsening hunger problem as the ongoing conflict reaches its eighth month.
In April, conflicts arose between the opposing Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), which is under the control of the military government, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), as both leaders competed for ultimate authority.
Furthermore, the violence not only affected food security, but also severely damaged the country’s healthcare system and caused millions to be displaced within its borders and forced refugees to flee.
Nearly 18 million people across Sudan are facing acute hunger (IPC3+) – more than double the number suffering the same time a year ago.
The current estimate of those suffering from severe hunger is greater than the original prediction of 15 million, which was made in the prior evaluation back in August.
At the moment, nearly five million individuals are experiencing severe food shortages (IPC4), with more than three-quarters living in regions where humanitarian aid has been sporadic and, in certain situations, unattainable due to ongoing conflicts.
The rapid increase in hunger over the last year is concerning. A growing number of individuals are facing difficulty in obtaining a simple daily meal, and if action is not taken, there is a serious possibility that they will not even have access to that. These words were spoken by Eddie Rowe, the Country Director for WFP in Sudan.