July 15, 2024

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Fourteen Areas of Sudan Face Risk of Famine Amid Ongoing Conflict

Sudanese chant slogans as they gather during a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum on May 2, 2019. Sudanese army rulers and protesters on May 21, 2019 failed to reach an agreement yet again on the make-up of a new ruling body. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

new report shows that the hunger crisis in Sudan is historically dire, with indications that Famine may already be underway. More than half of Sudan’s population – 25.6 million people – are estimated to face crisis or worse levels of severe hunger and require immediate humanitarian assistance, the highest levels of food insecurity ever measured in the country by international experts.

755,000 people are on the brink of starvation. The data from the report suggests we are facing a crisis that is comparable to – and potentially worse than – the Famine in Ethiopia that shocked the world’s conscience in the early 1980s. 

This is a man-made crisis – directly caused by the 14 months of conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the systematic obstruction of humanitarian aid by both parties. 

Despite both parties’ deliberate denial of life-saving assistance to the Sudanese people, USAID partners continue to provide food, malnutrition screening and treatment for young children, emergency health care, and other critical humanitarian assistance to people in need throughout the country. We are working with our partners to reach the most vulnerable, in spite of the obstructions, and we are prepared to surge assistance to hard-to-reach areas as brave humanitarian workers gain access. The United States has provided more than $1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Sudan since October 2022. 

But getting aid flowing on the scale necessary to meet these historic levels of need will require increased and sustained cross-border assistance, as well as greater cross-line assistance to move food, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities between SAF and RSF territory. 

The SAF and RSF must negotiate an immediate ceasefire to facilitate predictable and sustained  humanitarian access to all Sudanese and remain at the negotiating table to end this conflict. The United States continues to stand with the people of Sudan suffering as a result of this conflict and will do all that we can to get life-saving aid where it is needed most.

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