Monday, April 15, 2024

Biggest hunger problem ever is happening in Sudan, says UN. Help is in trouble, and things are getting really bad

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The fighting in Sudan is causing a massive hunger crisis worldwide, affecting over 25 million people, says a United Nations agency. Almost everyone in the country is experiencing severe hunger, and many are in areas that are hard to reach due to ongoing violence. The UN’s World Food Program warns that the situation is dire, with emergency levels of hunger affecting nine out of ten people. The conflict has not only led to the world’s largest displacement crisis but also left 18 million people severely lacking food in Sudan, with additional challenges in neighboring South Sudan and Chad.

The Executive Director of the WFP, Cindy McCain, emphasizes that the current crisis in Sudan is being overlooked, despite the international response to the Darfur hunger crisis twenty years ago. The conflict, which erupted in April, has caused thousands of deaths and displaced eight million people, pitting forces loyal to two rival generals against each other.

The WFP is struggling to meet the increasing needs, especially in South Sudan and Chad, where the humanitarian response is at a breaking point. The crisis has worsened since the WFP had to stop aid operations from Chad to Sudan’s Darfur region due to revoked permissions for cross-border truck convoys. Children at the main border crossing between Sudan and South Sudan are suffering from malnutrition, and the situation is critical for newly displaced people in South Sudan, making up 35% of those facing severe hunger despite being less than 3% of the population.

Disturbing Discoveries

The WFP issued a serious warning, coinciding with statements made by US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She revealed that the UN had uncovered proof indicating that girls as young as 14 had been sexually assaulted by members of the Rapid Support Forces within WFP storage sites controlled by this paramilitary group.

During her speech on Wednesday, Thomas-Greenfield shared excerpts from the final report on Sudan by the UN Panel of Experts. She described this report as containing deeply disturbing information spread across 52 pages.

According to the report, RSF snipers deliberately targeted civilians, which included women, pregnant women, and young individuals. Additionally, they looted schools, hospitals, markets, government buildings, and humanitarian resources. These acts of destruction were mainly carried out by RSF and allied militias through shelling and bombing.

The UN has previously stated that the surge in gender-based violence since the conflict began constitutes crimes against humanity. In July, the UN highlighted that approximately 4.2 million women and girls faced heightened risks of sexual violence. Moreover, a CNN investigation uncovered numerous allegations of sexual assault by Sudanese activists, particularly in the Darfur region. Reports suggest that entire communities have been devastated by targeted killings based on ethnicity.

Thomas-Greenfield mentioned a recent report with disturbing pictures from West Darfur, where the RSF has been targeting the Masalit community.

The report shows just a glimpse of the death, destruction, and bad behavior that defines this conflict. It points out that a few nearby countries are providing weapons, and that needs to stop. She says the world isn’t doing much to handle the crisis.

She hopes this serious report will finally make the world pay attention to the terrible things happening right in front of us.

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