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OCHA: 15.8 million people in Sudan will need humanitarian relief in 2023

November 8 - 2022 KHARTOUM
A displaced child in North Darfur (File photo: Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID)
A displaced child in North Darfur (File photo: Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID)

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Sudan will rise to 15.8 million next year, equivalent to about a third of the population, which represents an increase of 1.5 million over this year.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) in Sudan said in a report that about 11 million people need emergency assistance to meet life-threatening needs related to critical physical and mental health. An increase of 21 per cent compared to this year.

The report emphasised that the four most important risks identified during the next year are conflict, disasters associated with natural hazards, disease outbreaks, and economic decline.

Half of those in need are concentrated in conflict-affected areas, OCHA reports, while the remaining half are in areas less affected by conflict in the northern, central, and eastern parts of the country.

A joint statement yesterday by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) and more than a dozen international organisations, describes the already dire and deteriorating food security crisis in the eastern Horn of Africa.

Record-breaking levels of acute food insecurity are being recorded across the region, which is currently experiencing a poor start to the ongoing rainy season. Forecasts now indicate a significant likelihood that the March-May 2023 rainy season will also be below-average.

“Global solidarity is urgently needed to help vulnerable communities in the Horn of Africa survive a rapidly unfolding humanitarian catastrophe, driven by the longest and most severe drought in recent history that is expected to continue well into 2023. Humanitarian and development actors must urgently prepare for the continuation of life-saving assistance in response to extremely high humanitarian needs through to next year. The Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia drought response plans are only 50 percent funded despite escalating needs, severely limiting humanitarian agencies’ capacities to respond. More funds are required immediately to save lives before it is too late,” the joint statement says.

In June, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that the number of food insecure people in Sudan may ‘dramatically increase‘ to unprecedented levels and that the “already alarming food security situation is likely to worsen throughout the lean season in Sudan, which started this month and will last through September”. By September, up to 40 per cent of Sudanese may slip into food insecurity, the WFP and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) warned.

Rising costs of transport, food, and basic commodities are putting immense pressure on Sudanese consumers, as the Sudanese Pound continues to waiver against major international currencies. Increasing reports of deaths from malnutrition and starvation are filtering through from across the country, confirming a food crisis that has been repeatedly highlighted by aid organisations.


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