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Sudanese Organization Urges UN to Declare Famine as Humanitarian Crisis Intensifies

A Sudanese organization has criticized the international humanitarian agencies for their inability to address the escalating humanitarian needs in Sudan, nine months into the conflict. The organization called on the United Nations and its humanitarian arms to declare a fifth-level famine nationally in Sudan, highlighting the dire situation affecting over 24 million Sudanese citizens, representing 60% of the total population.

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Sudan on April 15, 2023, a deadly combination of factors, including displacement, homelessness, direct conflict impact, agricultural input shortages, and the destruction of food industry infrastructure, has left millions in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Approximately 49.75% of the total population, or around 19.9 million Sudanese, require immediate food assistance, with 17.7 million experiencing acute food shortages.

In a press statement, the organization stressed the urgency for the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies to declare a severe famine in Sudan at the national level and to address the situation accordingly. The funding gap for essential food aid in Sudan has reached an alarming 75.9%, deemed unacceptable by international community standards.

The organization emphasized that UN agencies and global relief systems must escalate their efforts to address the humanitarian disaster in Sudan, reflecting the growing suffering of Sudanese people as indicated by these figures.

Famine has impacted various regions of the country, with varying percentages of civilians suffering from acute food shortages: 60% in West Darfur, 55% in the capital Khartoum, 48% in South Kordofan, and even in areas untouched by war, like Kassala State, where 43% of the population is affected. The agricultural states, led by Gezira, have seen a 31% impact.

The organization noted that the famine declaration threshold is reached at 20% of the population. The statement highlighted a decrease in cultivated land area to 37% compared to previous years, attributing it to the attack by Rapid Support Forces on Gezira State in December, disrupting the cultivation of one million acres of food crops this season. Additionally, the disruption of agricultural input supply chains resulted in at least a 70% reduction in wheat cultivation.

The organization pointed out the repeated theft of World Food Programme warehouses during the war, with the latest incident occurring on December 28, 2023, when Rapid Support Forces seized warehouses in Gezira State, looting food supplies meant to cover the nutritional needs of 1.5 million Sudanese for a month, along with addressing malnutrition for over 20,000 children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.

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