Four months since the brutal conflict began, extreme hunger is creating additional life-threatening risks for children
New projections show more people will experience crisis levels of hunger in Sudan than any other time in the past decade.
An additional 1.5 million children in Sudan are expected to fall into crisis levels of hunger by September, as violent conflict, displacement and sky-high food prices persist and a likely poor seasonal harvest predicted.
By June, nearly 8 million – or one in every three children – in the country were suffering crisis levels of food shortages, or IPC Phase 3 and above. Between July and September, this figure is expected to rise to 9.5 million, or an extra 17,000 children on average per day.
The number of people facing hunger in Sudan has doubled over the past year, with more than 20.3 million or over 42% of the country’s 46 million people facing crisis levels of food insecurity. This number is the highest number of people going hungry in Sudan since the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) started listing hunger data for the country in 2012, and possibly a longer period beforehand.
Regions with the highest levels of active conflict are showing the highest presence of food shortages, with the worst impacted populations in West Darfur (where 62% of the population is highly food insecure), Khartoum and South Kordofan.
Sudan’s planting season, normally starting in May, has been completely upended, with thousands of farmers forced from their land and leaving the ground fallow. The price of sorghum, millet and wheat is also substantially higher than normal. Sorghum is the staple food for the majority of poor households in central and eastern Sudan regions, millet is the staple in Darfur, and wheat the staple food for northern states.
Wide looting of markets, shops, banks, homes and public buildings led to an increased shortage of essential supplies, further aggravating the fragile food insecurity and malnutrition.
Dr. Arif Noor, Save the Children’s Country Director in Sudan, said:
“People are struggling to stay safe and not be killed in the violence, while also struggling to get enough food to eat. In conflict areas, if you go to a market, you risk being robbed, shelled, murdered, or caught in the cross-fire. If you get to that market, the chances are, the shelves are empty.
“It’s impossible to over emphasize the seriousness of the situation in Sudan. This is a desperate, dire crisis for children. We are talking millions of individuals being pushed from their homes, leaving everything behind, eating one measly meal a day.
“There should be an urgent end to the conflict and the international community should step up for the children of Sudan.”
Save the Children has worked in Sudan since 1983 to provide humanitarian relief to people affected by the drought in western Sudan. Since then, we’ve been supporting children and families affected by conflict, displacement, extreme poverty, hunger and a lack of basic services. Many of the children and families we serve are among the most vulnerable and hardest to reach.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mala Darmadi on 0425562113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
In the latest IPC Acute Food Insecurity Snapshot for Sudan, Over 16.9 million people in Sudan experienced high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) in June 2023. This number is estimated to increase to 20.3 million people between July and September 2023.
Around 47% - or 23 million – of the population of Sudan are children. The proportion of children in these figures is estimated at 7.9 million (June) and 9.5 million (July – September) respectively.