18 Million Sudanese Face Acute Hunger Amid Conflict

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News In Brief:
– FAO issues urgent warning as Sudan faces its worst hunger crisis with nearly 18 million people suffering from acute food insecurity amid civil war.
– Conflict severely disrupts agriculture, leading to a 46% reduction in cereal production, hindering food access and threatening famine.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has flagged the alarming scale of hunger gripping Sudan, urging an urgent cessation of hostilities to avert famine.

The crisis, exacerbated by nearly a year of civil strife, has left a staggering 18 million people grappling with acute food insecurity – the highest ever recorded during a harvest season.

Areas most ravaged by conflict, including West Darfur, Khartoum, and South Kordofan, are witnessing the most acute food shortages. The situation is so dire that nearly 5 million people are teetering on the brink of catastrophic food insecurity, signaling an urgent need for humanitarian intervention.

With agriculture forming the backbone of Sudan’s economy, the conflict has dealt a severe blow to the sector. The ongoing violence has hampered agricultural production, damaged vital infrastructure, disrupted trade, and inflated prices, pushing farmers into dire circumstances. Even regions vital for staple crops like wheat and sorghum, such as Al Jazirah, are now engulfed in the conflict.

The FAO’s annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Report paints a grim picture of Sudan’s food production landscape. The report highlights a significant decline in cereal production, with some areas experiencing up to 80% below-average yields. Widespread insecurity has prevented farmers from tending to their fields, leading to crop failures and exacerbating the food crisis.

Urgent call for assistance

As Sudan braces for its main planting season, FAO Deputy Director-General Maurizio Martina issued a stark warning about the bleak outlook for 2024. However, amidst the despair, there’s a glimmer of hope. FAO’s past interventions have demonstrated that with timely support, farmers can yield significant harvests even in conflict-ridden areas.

Martina emphasised the critical need for agricultural assistance to avert further deterioration of the food security situation. Urging donors to step up their support, FAO stresses the urgency of providing farmers with the resources they need to cultivate their land and sustain their communities.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.

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