Dozens of people reportedly died of hunger in the Foro Baranga camp for the displaced in West Darfur in the past three months, as national and international aid organisations have faced ongoing challenges accessing and distributing food and goods in the camp.
The situation quickly deteriorated as, in spite of ongoing efforts, international relief organisations including the World Food Programme faced challenges in accessing the camp to distribute food since October and November 2021, in the aftermath of the October 25 military coup in Khartoum.
The severe shortage of food and medicines has led to the spread of malnutrition and diseases, which caused the death of 80 children and elderly people in the past three months due to starvation, camp leader Khamees Abdallah Zambour told Elyosaa Ahmed of El Sudani newspaper on Wednesday.
Five more people reportedly died in the camp yesterday due to starvation, two men and three women.
The vast majority, more than 17,000 camp residents, left for Chad in search of aid. There are still 12,564 displaced living in the camp in dire conditions.
Zambour also noted increases in people begging or scavenging the leftovers of restaurants in local markets and called on the government and civil society organisations to urgently intervene.
Earlier this month, international aid organisation Save the Children warned that the death of two children due to hunger-related causes signals a ‘looming hunger crisis over Sudan’.
The deaths were called “an ominous sign of what is to come as 18 million people are expected to be pushed into extreme hunger by September”.
Last week, The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that “a record 15 million people in Sudan – one-third of the population – are currently facing acute food insecurity,” and that this number is due to worsen during the dry season that lasts until September.
By that month, up to 40 per cent of Sudanese may slip into food insecurity, the WFP and UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) warned.
Updated: This article was updated on June 26 to clarify that in spite of ongoing efforts to provide essential aid, the WFP in Sudan has faced challenges in accessing Foro Baranga camp to distribute food, on and off, since October/November 2021.