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Sudan Witnesses Starvation-Related Deaths, Reports UN Food Agency

People ‘dying of starvation’ in Sudan, UN food agency says

The World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently appealing to the conflicting parties in Sudan to provide immediate security assurances for the delivery of crucial aid. The United Nations Food Agency has received distressing reports indicating a rise in starvation-related deaths and a twofold increase in the number of people experiencing hunger over the past year due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

Eddie Rowe, the Sudan representative and country director for the WFP, declared the situation in Sudan as catastrophic. Despite having sufficient food supplies in the country, operational challenges stemming from a lack of humanitarian access and unnecessary impediments are hindering relief efforts.

Rowe emphasized that life-saving assistance is not reaching those in dire need, leading to reports of people succumbing to starvation.

Sudan Witnesses Starvation-Related Deaths, Reports UN Food Agency

Sudan Witnesses Starvation-Related Deaths, Reports UN Food Agency (Credits: Reuters)

The protracted war in Sudan, which commenced in April, has left nearly 18 million people across the nation grappling with acute hunger. More than five million individuals are facing emergency levels of hunger, particularly in areas severely affected by the conflict.

The WFP is urgently calling on the warring factions in Sudan – the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – to provide immediate guarantees for the unimpeded delivery of relief.

Leni Kinzli, head of communications at WFP Sudan, highlighted the dire situation, stating that people are struggling to afford a basic meal, with some resorting to extreme measures like selling their possessions. The primary challenge is the inability to deliver assistance across conflict lines, as security guarantees and approvals for the free movement of commodities are lacking.

The WFP has managed to provide aid to only one in ten people in conflict areas, including Khartoum, Darfur, and El Gezira state, where the RSF has recently advanced. The agency is seeking security guarantees to resume operations in El Gezira, which was previously a vital aid hub.

Recent limitations on aid deliveries in Sudan were exacerbated by logistical issues, with trucks stuck in Port Sudan and El Obeid for extended periods. The WFP stressed the need for international support to facilitate aid deliveries, urging political parties to mobilize and ensure the smooth flow of assistance into the country.

Despite efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict in Sudan, progress remains elusive after nine months of bloody warfare. Nearly eight million people have been displaced from their homes, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis in the region.

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