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There could be a "catastrophic hunger crisis" in Sudan in a few weeks.

Image source: SkyNews

Large swaths of the nation are now affected by the conflict, and the security reaction has severely hindered efforts to deliver help while putting volunteers at risk of harassment and imprisonment by opposing forces.

Aid workers have warned that Sudan may experience a catastrophic food crisis in a matter of weeks as community volunteers fight to feed the needy in the face of armed conflict and security limitations.

In the last days of Ramadan in April 2023, fighting broke out in Sudan's capital city of Khartoum between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), its erstwhile security comrades.Since then, it has extended to many regions of the nation, severely hindering relief efforts and putting local volunteers at risk of harassment and arrest by rival factions. All of this is due to a security response that is very paranoid.

With many individuals looking for a single meal and clean water to break their fast in the evening, Ramadan this year has brought attention to how dire the situation is.

The international non-governmental organisations' coordinator in Sudan is Anthony Neal. The RSF holds significant portions of Khartoum and four of the five states that make up Darfur. After being cut off from the rest of the nation for months, fighting is still going on in the southern states of West and South Kordofan. 


The International PCA Acute Food Insecurity classification states that 17.7 million people in Sudan are experiencing acute food insecurity.Most of them—nearly five million—are facing emergency-level hunger, according to the World Food Programme (WFP), and they are mostly located in areas where humanitarian access is restricted as a result of intense conflict and other factors.The SAF had promised to permit 60 trucks to enter Al-Geneina in RSF-held West Darfur from the Adre crossing and to permit some degree of cross-border assistance into North Darfur from the Tina crossing in Chad, but that has not yet 

happened.To cover the void in these locations, volunteers from Emergency Response Rooms (ERRs) are working under unfeasible circumstances.

In the absence of a state consumed by conflict, community projects that emerged from the neighbourhood resistance committees that spearheaded demonstrations against military authority during the 2019 revolution are now offering life-saving assistance.ERR volunteers are battling airstrikes and shelling in Khartoum's residential neighbourhood of Burri in order to get to markets and buy food for the 170 families that livethere.However, market merchants only take cash, and there are very few of them


Khartoum State Emergency Room announced earlier this month that 221 of the 300 community kitchens in the state had been placed on hold because of the ongoing telecommunications outage. It was almost time for Ramadan when this news broke. The activities of ERR volunteers are now paralysed in Al-Fashir, the state capital of North Darfur, where thousands have been displaced from neighbouring Darfur states and where hunger levels are already fatal. With the loss of grant aid, they are no longer able to provide clean water, supplies, and food to camps for displaced people, shelters, and health facilities.


Mohamed and the other ERR volunteers put in a lot of effort to serve individuals a plate of spaghetti or rice with meat at the end of the day to break their fast. They are helping 400 families who are residing in shelters in Atbara, the capital of the state of River Nile, another hotspot for displacement. Not only are state authorities not offering assistance, but they are also deliberately limiting volunteer reaction. "We have witnessed a crackdown on local civil society in River Nile state, which has restricted a local response at scale to fill gaps in state services," stated Mr. Neal.



For many months now, the likelihood that millions of people in Sudan will face catastrophic starvation has worried William Carter, the country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Sudan.


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