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As Hunger-Related Deaths Rise, Sudan Faces Risk of Famine

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  • Sudan
  • for immediate release: May 06, 2024
As Hunger-Related Deaths Rise, Sudan Faces Risk of Famine


Washington, D.C. – The protracted conflict in Sudan that has driven people from their homes and fields is also driving a risk of Famine as malnutrition, starvation, and hunger-related deaths worsen, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

In a new Sudan Alert, FEWS NET warned of a credible risk that Famine (IPC Phase 5) – the highest level of acute food insecurity marked by destitution, starvation, extreme malnutrition, and death – would occur in parts of West Darfur, Khartoum, and Greater Darfur if armed parties block households from accessing food and income sources for an extended time.

“Millions of people are already experiencing severe hunger in Sudan due to the actions of military and paramilitary forces,” FEWS NET Country Representative for Sudan Mohamed El Hafiz I Mohamed said. “Although not our most likely projection, it is possible that the parties involved in the conflict could escalate their tactics to the extent that households are deliberately isolated without access to food for prolonged periods, further contributing to growing levels of hunger, malnutrition, and death.”

Forecasted levels of hunger, malnutrition, and mortality are in line with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in many areas, and famine-like Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) outcomes are expected among those worst affected by the conflict, including people who have been displaced from their communities. Sudan is currently experiencing the world’s worst displacement crisis, with an estimated 8.7 million people displaced.

“The most likely outcomes that we have projected for Sudan are incredibly grim,” El Hafiz said. “People are resorting to extreme coping mechanisms including eating wild foods and seeds that would otherwise be used for planting, and selling off productive assets like livestock to get the food and income they need to survive.”

FEWS NET has projected a sharp increase in humanitarian needs in the coming months amid the likely collapse of the healthcare system, an expected increase in morbidity due to increased disease transmission during the upcoming rainy season, and unsanitary living conditions among displaced people. Conflict mitigation efforts and pressure from the international community to end the war are urgently needed.


Hannah Button
Famine Early Warning Systems Network

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