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Darfur: worsening hunger and malnutrition crisis in the Sudan

Apr 2014

Some 3.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Darfur. Over 2 million people remain displaced, including 380 000 people who were newly displaced in 2013, more than in any single year since the height of the conflict in 2004. Due to increased insecurity, the number of people in Darfur who were newly displaced in 2013 is three times higher than in 2012. Conflict and insecurity continue in the absence of a comprehensive political settlement between the Government and the main armed movements. Meanwhile, an intensification of inter-tribal conflict, mostly over access to natural resources, has spread insecurity in the region. As of December 2013, about 3.3 million people in the Sudan face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity, mostly driven by the impacts of conflict and natural disasters. IDPs represent about 80 percent of the total food-insecure population, while local population represents about 20 percent.

The Emergency Directors Group (EDG) mission to the Sudan that took place in March 2014 was deeply concerned by worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan, one that is largely slipping from the radar of the international community. Currently 6.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (40 percent more than in January 2013) including 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 2 million of them in Darfur alone. The field visit to Darfur was particularly timely as there is a broad consensus that the protracted humanitarian crisis in the area is quickly deteriorating.

Indeed, there has been an increasing number of attacks and looting on villages which led to large recent displacement of population. As most of the recently displaced people are coming from high productive areas, it is expected that these displacements will lead to a further deterioration of the food security situation in both rural and urban areas where rising food prices have triggered recent riots.

As part of the UN’s Strategic Response Plan, FAO is appealing for USD 19 million to support 5.4 million people with life-saving livelihood support. FAO’s main intervention areas: crop production, livestock health and production; environmental restoration and protection; livelihoods diversification; and sector coordination.

Author: FAO/Dominique Burgeon