The ongoing conflict in Sudan has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis, with over 20 million people facing acute food insecurity, according to the latest report by the Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC).
This alarming figure accounts for 42% of the country’s population, indicating a significant rise in the number of people in need of urgent intervention.
The areas worst affected by food insecurity include the capital city of Khartoum, the troubled western region of Darfur, and various parts of Kordofan. These regions have witnessed intense fighting, frequent attacks, and widespread looting since the conflict broke out in mid-April. As a result, the lives of millions of vulnerable individuals have been upended, pushing them further into the depths of hunger and uncertainty.
The conflict in Sudan stems primarily from disputes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over an internationally backed plan for a transition to civilian rule. This deep-rooted animosity has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe, displacing more than 3 million people within Sudan and forcing another 900,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring states.
The dire situation is further exacerbated by the disruption of supply chains, the mass displacement of populations, and the extensive damage inflicted upon critical infrastructure during the conflict. These factors, coupled with the ongoing violence, have created a vicious cycle of poverty, hunger, and desperation for millions of Sudanese citizens.
The IPC report emphasises that the magnitude of the food insecurity crisis in Sudan has exceeded previous predictions. The number of individuals facing acute hunger and in desperate need of immediate assistance has risen by a staggering 8.6 million compared to the same period in the previous year. This alarming increase highlights the urgent need for coordinated action and international support to address the growing food crisis in Sudan.
Efforts to deliver aid to affected regions and provide food assistance to the most vulnerable populations are underway. However, the scale of the crisis requires a concerted global response to prevent further deterioration. Humanitarian organisations, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders are working tirelessly to provide relief, food, and assistance to those in need.
The United Nations had previously predicted that by August, 19.1 million individuals would be experiencing hunger. Farmers have informed Reuters that their inability to sow crops could expedite the expansion of food insecurity.
According to the International Panel of Experts on Food Security (IPC), between October 2023 and February 2024, the number of people facing severe food insecurity is projected to decline to approximately 15 million. However, this would still be the highest recorded figure during that period.
Throughout Sudan, residents have reported deteriorating conditions, including prolonged power outages in certain areas lasting for several days at a time, shortages of medication, and communication blackouts.
Relief efforts by aid agencies have encountered challenges in terms of delivering assistance.
As reported by Reuters last week, the civilian death toll in Khartoum is substantially higher than official figures indicate due to residents being trapped amidst occupation by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on the ground and air strikes as well as bombardments carried out by the military.