Starvation claiming many lives in Sudan, UN food agency says

The United Nations food agency says it is receiving reports of people dying of starvation in Sudan and the number of hungry people has doubled over the past year as the ongoing war cuts civilians off from aid.

“At the moment, 18 million people were facing acute food insecurity, twice as many as a year earlier,” Leni Kinzli, the UN agency’s spokesperson in Sudan, told a press briefing in Geneva via video link, urging parties in the conflict to ensure that food assistance can get through.

Kinzli stressed that the UN agency is currently able to “deliver food to only 10% of the hungriest people in Sudan” as the other 90% are largely stuck in conflict zones.

Lack of humanitarian access and unnecessary hurdles are making most food distribution “impossible,” she said.

“The situation in Sudan today is nothing short of catastrophic,” said Eddie Rowe, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) Sudan representative and country director.

Some 3.6 million children under age 5 are suffering from acute malnutrition, she said, adding that the exact number of hungry children is “impossible” to know due to the lack of access to the most affected areas.

Sudan has been mired by fighting between the army, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the country’s ruling Sovereign Council, and the RSF paramilitary group since April 2023.

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