Darfur Faces Hunger Crisis as Escalating Violence Ravages War-Torn Sudan


The United Nations has issued a dire warning about the escalating hunger crisis in Darfur, western Sudan, where ongoing violence has devastated the region and left many at risk of starvation. The World Food Programme (WFP) reported on Friday that people are being forced to consume “grass and peanut shells” to survive, underscoring the severity of the crisis.

Starvation Risks in War-Torn Sudan

Michael Dunford, the WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, cautioned that without immediate humanitarian assistance, widespread starvation and death could occur in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas in Sudan. The crisis began with the civil war that erupted in April 2023 between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This conflict has led to reports of sexual violence, genocidal attacks, and a large exodus of refugees.

In a recent violent incident, gunmen killed two International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) drivers in South Darfur. The attack injured three other staff members. The ICRC team was assessing the humanitarian situation in the area when the attack occurred.

The conflict has led to increasing arbitrary killings, systematic burning of entire villages, and escalating air bombardments. Toby Hayward, the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, mentioned that El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, is encircled by the RSF. It remains the only city in Darfur not yet captured by the RSF but has seen increased violence. Thousands of internally displaced people have sought refuge there, with recent attacks leading to more than 36,000 people fleeing their homes. UNICEF reported that fighting in the area has killed at least 43 people since it resumed.

Challenges in Delivering Aid

Deliveries of food assistance in Darfur have been inconsistent due to ongoing fighting and bureaucratic hurdles. According to the WFP, at least 1.7 million people in Darfur are facing emergency levels of hunger. Recent escalations around El Fasher have halted aid convoys from Chad’s Tine border crossing, a vital humanitarian corridor. Restrictions in Port Sudan, a critical coastal town, have further complicated the transportation of relief aid, delaying essential assistance to the region.

The humanitarian crisis in Sudan has displaced over 8.7 million people, including 4.6 million children, while 24.8 million require assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The alarming level of displacement and violence has heightened the need for international aid and support to address the ongoing crisis in Sudan.

Read Also: Gaza Hunger Crisis: Urgent Action Needed to Avert Catastrophe


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