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SD_2023_NUT training4-min © Action contre la Faim

Press release


2.9 million children suffer from acute malnutrition

Behind these figures also lies the world’s largest displacement crisis, with more than 8 million people internally displaced within Sudan or seeking refuge in neighbouring countries since the fateful 15 April 2023. The situation is critical and demands an immediate response.

Nearly 18 million people, or 1 in 3 Sudanese, face high levels of acute food insecurity. Of these, almost 5 million are in an emergency situation, one step away from the highest level of food insecurity.

“This is the worst level of hunger ever recorded during the harvest season, which occurs between October and February each year. This is usually a period when more food is available. It is a clear sign of the total collapse of livelihoods for Sudanese families and the threat of mass starvation,” warns Samy Guessabi, Country Director of Action Against Hunger in Sudan.

Without urgent action and adequate funding, more than 200,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers could lose their lives to hunger in the coming months. Already 2.9 million children are acutely malnourished. 700,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition, the most dangerous and deadly form of extreme hunger.

The conflict in Sudan is also a gendered conflict. Women and girls face increased risk of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, as they experience violence or harassment when trying to access markets, camps, livelihood opportunities and humanitarian distribution sites. The growing crisis of hunger and displacement leads women to resort to survival sex for food and to increased rates of early and forced marriages. 

Humanitarian organisations such as ours are finding it increasingly difficult to reach the people in need. Preventing sufficient food aid from reaching the population and attacking food production and distribution infrastructures and means of transport is a direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2417. This resolution was unanimously adopted in 2018 to condemn the use of hunger and starvation as a weapon of war.

We urge all parties to the conflict to take immediate action to prevent the escalation of the hunger crisis in Sudan. This includes not attacking, looting, or damaging incidentally sites or infrastructure vital to food systems, such as markets, land used for agriculture or livestock, or food storage facilities such as silos or warehouses. We also appeal to the international community and humanitarian actors to provide urgent assistance and the necessary funding.

“Time is running out to avoid a rapid deterioration of the conflict-induced food insecurity crisis. The international community and the parties to the conflict must take immediate action to alleviate hunger and prevent a catastrophic malnutrition emergency,” concludes Samy Guessabi.

Action Against Hunger, present in Sudan since 2018, has been intensifying its efforts since the beginning of the conflict to address this unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Operating in White Nile, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Central Darfur, at high levels of food insecurity, we have supported nearly 500,000 people over 2023. In the face of extremely difficult security conditions, our teams are working tirelessly to provide food, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to the people of Sudan, as well as protection, especially for women and girls.


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