WFP warns of increasing hunger crisis in Sudan

The WFP in Sudan. Photo: WFP

 ROME/KHARTOUM – The escalating violence in Sudan may put millions more at risk of hunger, the United Nations World Food Programm (WFP) said in a statement on Thursday. 

 The WFP provides "life-saving food and cash assistance" to Sudan, a country in which a third of the population faces food insecurity. The violence, which broke out on Saturday, has forced the WFP to temporarily stop assisting the country's already-struggling citizens.

 "In 2023, WFP planned to support more than 7.6 million people," the organization said on Thursday. "The ongoing fighting is preventing WFP from delivering critical emergency food, providing school meals for children, or preventing and treating malnutrition. WFP also cannot carry out its work to support farmers to boost agriculture productivity in a project that aims to more than double Sudan’s annual wheat production, nor help people rebuild their livelihoods." 

 The WFP also stated that three of their employees had lost their lives since the violence broke out, while two others have been injured. Their staff, offices, vehicles, equipment, and food stocks "have come in the direct line of fire," it said. 

 The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), which is managed by the WFP, has been "completely grounded."

 The WFP said that one the UNHAS aircrafts has been "damaged beyond repair" in Khartoum, while at least ten vehicles and six food trucks have been stolen. 

 In addition, WFP guesthouses, offices, and warehouses in Sudan have been "overrun and looted," and have lost "up to 4,000 metric tons of food for hungry people." 

 The statement concluded with, "WFP calls on all parties to the conflict to take immediate steps to guarantee the safety of humanitarian workers and to protect humanitarian assets and premises in Sudan. WFP urges all parties to put an end to the fighting and come to an agreement that enables the continued delivery of vital food and humanitarian assistance."