Fighting in Sudan threatens food security in Darfur region

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called the crisis of epic proportions, denouncing limited access to vulnerable communities due to ongoing fighting and restrictions by authorities, particularly in Darfur.

Hostilities between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have intensified in El Fasher since last week after the latter surrounded the city to expand their control until now in the hands of the rival army.

That northern city, the last controlled by the Sudanese army in Darfur, hosts hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people due to the violence unleashed after more than a year of hostilities.

The arrival of fighting in the area has halted aid convoys from the Tine border crossing with Chad, while authorities in Port Sudan prevent the transport of aid through Adre, the only other viable cross-border corridor from the western neighbor from Sudan.

“Our calls for humanitarian access to hotspots in Sudan have never been more critical,” Michael Dunford, regional director for East Africa at the World Food Program (WFP), told reporters.

The representative insisted on the need for unrestricted access and security guarantees to provide assistance to families struggling to survive amid devastating levels of violence.

For her part, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Catherine Russell, warned of the impact of the fighting on children after the death of at least 43 people, including women and children, since Clashes in North Darfur intensified.

Recent attacks on more than a dozen villages have led to horrific reports of violence, including sexual violence, and more deaths and injuries among children, he said.

“All of these deeply worrying developments are occurring at a time when continued brutal violence across Sudan is pushing the country towards conflict-induced famine and further catastrophic loss of life, especially among children,” added the head of Unicef.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 25 million people need assistance, and approximately 17.7 million Sudanese face acute levels of food insecurity across the country.


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