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Conflict in Sudan’s Breadbasket Threatens National Food Availability

  • news
  • Sudan
  • for immediate release: February 02, 2024
Conflict in Sudan’s Breadbasket Threatens National Food Availability

 

Washington, D.C. – Fighting in Sudan has spread into the country’s breadbasket, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is reporting that new disruptions to trade and harvesting, in addition to challenges in importing, pose a significant threat to national food availability.

In an Alert issued Thursday, FEWS NET warned that the already severe food security situation in Sudan is worsening amid a recent expansion of hostilities, large-scale population displacement, atrocities against civilians, the destruction of goods and infrastructure, pervasive looting, and poor humanitarian access.

“Attacks in mid-December interrupted the main season harvesting and cultivation of winter wheat in highly productive areas of Sudan, and we are expecting major impacts on national food availability,” FEWS NET Senior Food Security Analyst Emily Turano said. “Nearly one-third of the population of Sudan is in need of emergency food assistance, making it one of the world’s worst food crises.”

The new fighting has significantly disrupted commercial trade flows and humanitarian assistance, and hunger is expected to worsen in heavily conflict-affected areas. As the lean season approaches, FEWS NET is most concerned about high-risk populations in El Geneina of West Darfur and Omdurman of Khartoum.

“The lean season – when the harvest from the previous year has been exhausted and prices of food are at their highest – is expected to come as early as March,” Turano said. “If nothing changes between now and then, we can expect deepening hunger in El Geneina, Omdurman, and other high-risk areas of Sudan.” 

As the conflict continues to disrupt people’s ability to access food and income, humanitarian assistance is expected to remain severely limited, particularly in hard-to-reach areas with heightened insecurity. 

“Expedited approvals for humanitarians to cross conflict lines and assurances of safe passage for both aid and commercial trade flows, at a minimum, are critical to preventing deepening hunger,” FEWS NET reported.

Contacts

Hannah Button
Communications Lead
Famine Early Warning Systems Network
hbutton@fews.net

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