Child hunger in Sudan almost doubles in six months with three in every four children affected

Child hunger in Sudan almost doubles in six months with three in every four children affected

Child hunger in Sudan almost doubles in six months with three in every four children affected

Child hunger in Sudan almost doubles in six months with three in every four children affected

The number of children in Sudan facing severe food shortages has almost doubled in six months with about 75% of children now going hungry daily as conflict drives hunger levels to record levels, raising fears of rising child malnutrition, Save the Children said.

Based on drastic new figures from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Partnership – the leading international authority on the severity of hunger crises – Save the Children found 16.4 million children, or three in every four children,  now face “crisis”, “emergency” or “catastrophe” levels of hunger – up from 8.3 million last December [1] [2].

Fourteen months of devastating conflict in Sudan’s crop production areas of Darfur, Kordofan, Khartoum and Al Jazirah, rising displacement and severe restrictions on humanitarian access along with a gaping hole in funding have created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The massive and worsening conflict is upending food systems, killing thousands of farmers, and leaving markets empty.

There is risk of famine in 14 locations across the country, with 755,000 people facing catastrophic levels of hunger, when households cannot meet any basic needs and have exhausted all coping strategies needed to survive, according to the IPC Partnership. Save the Children estimates that 355,605 of these will be children [3].

Lack of adequate food can lead to malnutrition which, without treatment, can have long term implications on children’s health and development, and even kill, Save the Children said.

IPC figures from March showed that in just one displacement camp, almost a quarter of children (23%) were suffering from wasting – the most visible and lethal form of malnutrition [4].

The humanitarian response for Sudan is woefully underfunded, with donors contributing to just 16.8% to a $2.7 billion UN response plan [5]. On the day of a major humanitarian funding conference in Paris earlier this year, Save the Children analysis found that the amount raised for the humanitarian crisis in Sudan in the first 105 days of 2024 was less than a fifth of what was pledged in just two days to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral. [6]

Dr. Arif Noor, Save the Children Country Director in Sudan, said:

“These new figures should make our blood run cold. Fourteen months of devastating conflict have turned Sudan’s breadbasket into battlefields. Hundreds of thousands of children who have managed to dodge bullets and bombs are now facing death by starvation and disease.

“Where is the collective outrage – and action – needed to tackle this travesty? It is already too late to prevent mass hunger and malnutrition. But through immediate, co-ordinated action, we can save lives – and history will judge us if we do not.”

Save the Children is calling for an immediate ceasefire and meaningful progress towards a lasting peace agreement. In the meantime, the child rights organisation is pushing for safe, unimpeded humanitarian access to civilians across border routes and fighting lines inside Sudan; the safeguarding of vital infrastructure essential for food systems, such as markets, agricultural land, and storage facilities; and immediate intervention from the international community to fully fund the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan to save children’s lives.

Save the Children has worked in Sudan since 1983,  and is currently supporting children and their families across Sudan providing health, nutrition, education, child protection and food security and livelihoods support. Save the Children is also supporting refugees from Sudan in Egypt and South Sudan.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Save the Children.