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Over 6 million on brink of famine as hunger, displacement 'spiraling out of control' in Sudan: UN

Sudanese women stand in queue to receive food amid growing hunger and malnutrition in the conflict-ridden African country. (File photo by Reuters)

The United Nations has warned that millions of people are on the brink of famine in Sudan, as hunger and displacement are spiraling out of control in the African country amid the ongoing armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Response Forces (RSF).

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued the warning in a statement on Wednesday, saying that 6.3 million people in Sudan, about 13% of the population, are now one step from famine, in a new escalation of an already dire humanitarian situation.

The UN aid agency went on to say that over 20 million people are facing high levels of acute food insecurity due to the conflict, economic decline and mass displacement.

Citing data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), OCHA said more than 3 million people have been internally displaced since the start of the conflict in Sudan, adding that over 900,000 people have fled to neighboring countries—namely Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

According to IOM, people have been forced to leave all of Sudan’s 18 states, with the majority of them from Khartoum State.

The UN organization further said the current estimate of displacements over the past 108 days surpasses the total recorded for the previous four years.

It also noted that no humanitarian corridors have been created despite promises from the warring sides, thus preventing aid groups from delivering increasingly life-saving assistance.

The latest development comes as the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has already warned that more than 19 million Sudanese people are facing food insecurity.

Mohamed Gamal, communication officer of the WFP, raised the alarm last Sunday as the months-long heavy fighting between the warring sides in Sudan has led to the disruption of water, electricity and gas supplies and severe shortages of food and medicine in many areas.

The fighting in Sudan began in mid-April over a power struggle between army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the RSF.

The clashes in Sudan have caused over 3,000 deaths and more than 6,000 injuries, according to figures released by the Sudanese Health Ministry.

The United Nations, the Arab League as well as many countries in the world have already urged the opposing sides to show restraint and engage in dialog to end the hostilities.

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