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The humanitarian situation in Sudan continues to escalate, with a steady increase in hunger. A record number of people, approximately one-third of the population, was already facing hunger before the current conflict erupted.

The ongoing violence has the potential to plunge millions more people into hunger. After a brief pause due to ongoing unrest and insecurity, WFP has restarted its operations to address the immediate needs of refugees, host communities and internally displaced people. WFP has activated its highest level of emergency response for the operation. 

Tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees are fleeing to escape the violence in the country – most of them heading to Egypt, South Sudan and Chad. WFP is assisting newly arrived refugees with emergency food assistance. However, WFP is concerned about the food security situation in neighbouring countries, many of which are already dealing with multiple crises of their own

In addition to conflict, increasing food and fuel prices, displacement, poor harvests and climate shocks such as floods are the main drivers of food insecurity.

High inflation continues to reduce households’ purchasing power, with people unable to meet their basic needs. A total 95 percent of households spend more than 65 percent of their total expenditure on food, while 48 percent are unable to afford one WFP local food basket. Food prices in Sudan are 137 percent higher than the same time one year ago.

Sudan continues to face persistently high levels of acute malnutrition and stunting, which constitute a significant public health problem. The rise will see over 40 percent of Sudan’s population – more than 19 million people – facing hunger. This is the highest number ever recorded in the country. Around 4 million children and pregnant/nursing women suffer from malnutrition in Sudan. States expected to see the highest levels of food insecurity in the next three to six months will be West Darfur, West Kordofan, Blue Nile, Red Sea and North Darfur.

As of March 2023, 14.8 million households could not afford the local food basket. If the conflict continues, the price of the local food basket is projected to increase by a further 25 percent in the next three to six months. This increase in food prices will leave even more people unable to afford a basic meal.

Two-thirds of the population live in rural areas, with the economy heavily dependent on agriculture. Ongoing fighting could disrupt the planting season, which begins at the end of May. If the season is missed, the number of people going hungry will further increase.

The already dire food security situation, exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic, has been compounded by the high costs of seeds and fertilizer as a result of the war in Ukraine. In response to these challenges, WFP has worked with the Government and partners to provide life-saving food and nutrition assistance, while supporting government efforts to strengthen social-protection systems.

WFP activated its highest level of emergency in Sudan after conflict erupted on 15 April 2023. In the aftermath of this crisis and amid access constraints due to insecurity, WFP aims to reach 5.9 million people with emergency food assistance, nutrition support, prevention and treatment of malnutrition. WFP supported 9.3 million people in Sudan 2022.

What WFP is doing in Sudan

Food assistance
WFP provides food assistance as a first lifeline and works to ensure that people affected by shocks have access to food. Vulnerable refugees, internally displaced people, returnees and shock-affected resident communities receive either food or cash, to provide choice. Through Food Assistance for Assets programmes, communities receive food or cash to fill their immediate food gap. In return, community members work on projects including building or restoring infrastructure like roads or schools.
WFP aims to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition in emergency and recovery situations, reduce stunting (low height for age due to chronic malnutrition) and prevent mineral and vitamin deficiencies through nutrition-specific initiatives. WFP provides ready-to-use-supplementary food to children under 5 and pregnant or nursing mothers who have been diagnosed with MAM. In collaboration with the private sector, WFP launched VITAMINO, a micronutrient product that is distributed to internally displaced people, refugees and vulnerable residents, and that is sold through retail outlets to reach urban populations. WFP also supports national efforts to promote consumption of fortified foods and provides technical assistance for the development of relevant legislation and standards.
Food systems and safety nets
WFP helps to improve food systems and safety nets to strengthen the resilience of food-insecure families. Through training in vocational skills, people are able to improve their livelihood opportunities and increase their income. WFP also supports farmers in accessing markets, while improving irrigation systems to boost agricultural productivity.
Post-harvest losses
Farmers in Sudan lose an estimated 30 percent of their crops after harvest, often due to improper storage. To reduce post-harvest losses, WFP is promoting the use of hermetic storage bags and airtight silos among smallholder famers, thereby creating a market demand. Farmers improve their profit margins, with more of their crops safely stored for selling on the market. Meanwhile, WFP is also engaging the private sector to make the hermetic bags readily available on the market at reasonable prices, which also helps to boost the local economy.

Partners and donors

Achieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Sudan is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:
Canada Denmark European Union France Germany



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