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Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The United Nations has highlighted the looming threat of hunger facing nearly five million people in Sudan. UN emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, emphasized in a communication to the UN Security Council that acute levels of hunger are anticipated in the coming months. This dire situation stems from the compounding effects of conflict on agriculture, economic instability, and mass displacements.

Griffiths stressed the urgent need for humanitarian assistance and access to basic necessities to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. He warned that without swift intervention, millions could slip into catastrophic food insecurity, particularly in certain regions of the country. Of particular concern are the prospects of famine conditions emerging in West and Central Darfur amidst escalating insecurity fueled by ongoing conflicts.

Expressing grave concern, Griffiths called upon all parties involved to prioritize the cessation of hostilities, safeguard civilian populations, and facilitate humanitarian access. He underscored the critical nature of the current moment and urged concerted efforts to address the mounting crisis.

The situation is compounded by the alarming prevalence of severe malnutrition among Sudanese children, with nearly 730,000 children, including over 240,000 in Darfur, suffering from severe malnutrition. Griffiths highlighted a concerning surge in severe wasting cases, the deadliest form of malnutrition, particularly in accessible areas.

Since the eruption of conflict last year between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces, at least 8.3 million people have been displaced, with many seeking refuge in neighboring Chad and South Sudan. The toll of the conflict has been staggering, with tens of thousands of lives lost according to the latest UN figures.

Despite international calls for a ceasefire, including a recent appeal by the UN Security Council coinciding with the start of Ramadan, the Sudanese army has rejected such overtures. The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that half of Sudan’s 50 million population are in need of humanitarian assistance, prompting the UN to launch a $2.7 billion humanitarian response plan for Sudan in 2024 just weeks ago.

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