By Asmau Ahmad
The World Food Programme (WFP) warned that there is likely to be a drastic increase in the number of people facing hunger as violence continues in embattled Sudan.
In a statement on Wednesday, WFP said an additional two to 2.5 million people in Sudan are expected to slip into hunger in the coming months as a result of the ongoing violence in the country.
“This would take acute food insecurity in Sudan to record levels, with more than 19 million people affected, two fifths of the population.”
Conflict broke out in Sudan in mid-April, after a long-simmering power struggle between de facto president Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohammed Hamdan Daglo.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said 604 people have died in the violence, citing Health Ministry figures, while about 5,000 have been injured, although the numbers are widely thought to be higher.
The crisis is also causing food insecurity, the WFP said, noting food prices are rising across the country.
“The biggest spikes in food insecurity are expected in West Darfur, West Kordofan, Blue Nile, Red Sea and North Darfur states.”
The price of basic food items is expected to increase by 25 per cent in the next three to six months, the statement said.
“If farmers are prevented from accessing their fields and planting key staples between May and July, it will drive food prices even higher.”
Even before the conflict, more than 15 million people in Sudan were facing severe food insecurity, according to the WFP, which interrupted its work in the country after staff members were killed.
The agency has since resumed its work there.