World Food Programme: Sudan soon to be ‘world’s largest hunger crisis’

World Food Programme: Sudan soon to be ‘world’s largest hunger crisis’
World Food Programme: Sudan soon to be ‘world’s largest hunger crisis’

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A Sudanese refugee walks back from collecting water in the newly established Awulala refugee camp, near Maganan, 80 km from the Sudanese border in Ethiopia's Amhara region, on February 28, 2024. — AFP pic

PORT SUDAN, March 6 — Sudan’s nearly 11-month war between rival generals “risks triggering the world’s largest hunger crisis”, the United Nations’ World Food Programme warned today.

The war between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, has killed tens of thousands, destroyed infrastructure and crippled Sudan’s economy.

It has also uprooted more than eight million people, in addition to two million who had already been forced from their homes before the conflict — making it the world’s largest displacement crisis.

Now, “millions of lives and the peace and stability of an entire region are at stake”, WFP executive director Cindy McCain said.

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“Twenty years ago, Darfur was the world’s largest hunger crisis and the world rallied to respond,” she said, referring to the vast western region of Sudan.

“But today, the people of Sudan have been forgotten.”

The RSF are themselves descended from the Janjaweed militia, which was used by former dictator Omar al-Bashir against ethnic minority rebels in Darfur in the early 2000s.

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In the current war, both the RSF and the army have been accused of indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, targeting civilians and obstructing and commandeering essential aid.

The WFP is currently unable to access 90 per cent of those facing “emergency levels of hunger”, and says only 5 per cent of Sudan’s population “can afford a square meal a day”.

In crowded transit camps in South Sudan, where 600,000 people from Sudan have fled, “families arrive hungry and are met with more hunger”, the UN food agency said.

One in five children crossing the border was malnourished, it added.

Across Sudan, 18 million people are facing acute food security, five million of whom are at catastrophic levels of hunger — the highest emergency classification short of famine. — AFP

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