UN warns of worsening food crisis in Sudan amid economic deterioration
The UN has warned of a worsening food crisis in Sudan due to the African country’s economic downturn, displacement and devastated crops.
“The combined effects of conflict, economic crisis and poor harvests are significantly affecting people’s access to food and will likely double the number of acutely hungry people in Sudan to more than 18 million people by September. 2022,” the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said in a press release on Wednesday.
“There are already worrying signs that food access, affordability and availability are declining for most people in Sudan, pushing more people deeper into poverty and hunger,” Eddie said. Rowe, WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan. saying.
In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of people displaced by the conflict in parts of Darfur and the Kordofan region, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“This insecurity has eroded livelihoods, damaged farms and triggered widespread unemployment,” Rowe added.
The depreciation of the Sudanese pound as well as rising food and transport prices are making it harder for Sudanese families to put food on the table, and a lack of access to hard currency is expected to lead to further depreciation of the currency. change.
According to the report of the crop and food security assessment mission published by FAO and WFP.
“Rising food prices and scarcity of essential agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and seeds mean that farmers have no choice but to abandon food production if they do not receive immediate support” , said the FAO representative in Sudan, Babagana Ahmadu.
This will likely have “serious consequences” not only for their food security but also for the availability of food in Sudan, and could ultimately lead to more conflict and displacement, Ahmadu added.
Sudan depends on wheat imports from the Black Sea region. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the flow of grain to Sudan, increasing food prices, according to the press release.
At present, the price of wheat in Sudan has already exceeded $550 per ton, up 180% compared to the same period in 2021.
In 2021, WFP was a lifeline for nearly 9 million Sudanese, who were suffering from political unrest and economic uncertainty.
However, WFP food reserves in Sudan are dangerously low this year, and without new funding would run out by May, according to a WFP report.
A lack of budget has already forced WFP to target the most vulnerable people, the report says.
“Urgent support is needed to provide critical agricultural inputs to vulnerable farming households before the start of the main agricultural season in June, so that they can produce enough food and become self-sufficient,” FAO said in a press release. of Wednesday.
Sudan has been facing an economic crisis since the United States and international agencies suspended aid after Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the general commander of the Sudanese armed forces, declared a state of emergency on October 25. 2021 and dissolved the Sovereign Council.
The United States suspended $700 million in economic aid to Sudan, while the World Bank failed to provide $500 million to Sudan, which was scheduled for November 2021. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also halted $150 million of special drawing rights for Sudan.
Sudan’s debt relief process under the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative has also been suspended.
Sudan has been in the throes of an economic crisis since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, due to which Sudan lost 75% of its oil revenue.
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