Severe Food Insecurity In Sudan, With Little Aid in Sight

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Millions more Sudanese are expected to go hungry this year as economic turbulence and irregular rains push up prices and reduce harvests, while a freeze on international aid and the conflict in Ukraine further threaten the food supply.
Rising hunger levels, as predicted by UN agencies, threaten to destabilize a country already beset by conflict and poverty following a military takeover last year.
Sudan has been mired in economic crisis since before the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in an uprising in 2019. A transitional government attracted billions of dollars in international support, but that was suspended after the coup, placing Sudan on the brink of economic collapse.
Currency devaluations and subsidy reforms have driven up prices, and inflation is running at more than 250%. In the capital Khartoum, the cost of ever-shrinking small loaves of bread has risen from 2 Sudanese pounds two years ago to about 50 pounds ($0.11) today.
Some 87% of Sudan’s imported wheat comes from Russia and Ukraine, according to FAO data, making it one of the Arab world’s most exposed countries to the war in Ukraine.
The World Bank estimates that in 2021 56% of Sudan’s population of around 44 million were surviving on less than $3.20, or about 2,000 pounds per day, one of its global poverty lines, up from 43% in 2009.
According to the World Food Programme, the number of people suffering from hunger to the point of having to sell critical possessions or having nothing left to sell will double to 18 million by September.
Aid organizations have long operated in Sudan to assist the rural poor and those displaced by the war. For the first time in 2019, the WFP expanded its activities to include urban areas.
“This increase didn’t come overnight or a few months ago; it’s been building for a long time,” Marianne Ward, WFP deputy country director, explained.

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