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Image by James Wiseman

Facing Famine: One Year of the War in Sudan

Sudan is currently facing one of the gravest humanitarian crises in modern history. Today, April 15, marks one year since the beginning of the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The situation continues to deteriorate. The war in Sudan has displaced over 7.5 million people, 5.4 million of whom have been internally displaced. The other 1.4 million people have sought safety by fleeing to Chad, South Sudan, Uganda, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic. 

As the holy month of Ramadan just finished with Eid al-Fitr, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his grief in knowing that people in conflict, such as those in Sudan and Gaza, would be celebrating Eid in the most somber of circumstances. This Eid was the second in which the conflict in Sudan continued, with more than 18 million people there facing acute food insecurity and nine in ten people facing “emergency levels of hunger.”  Approximately 730,000 Sudanese children are suffering from malnutrition. Another 7 million people are projected to face famine levels of hunger by the agricultural season in May 2024. Those displaced to countries like Chad are also at risk, where there is a threat of food aid being cut off for Sudanese refugees due to financial constraints. 

The situation grows more dire as the war wages on and the RSF blocks international aid into the country. The looming famine is exacerbated by various RSF-imposed communication blackouts, which have halted donations via mobile banking apps. Over 221 communal kitchens relying on such donations have been forced to close due to these blackouts

At the beginning of March, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issued a solemn plea to the international community, urging all parties in Sudan to honor the values of Ramadan by observing a cessation of hostilities during this sacred month. However, the path to peace remains fraught with challenges. Renewed offensives, fears of escalating violence, and the ominous specter of famine threaten to tear apart the fabric of Sudanese society. 

While the UN and its humanitarian partners strive to alleviate the suffering, they face daunting obstacles in reaching those in need. Access to vulnerable populations is hindered by bureaucratic hurdles and systematic conflict-related violence, including reports of widespread sexual violence against women and girls.

We at PEJ continue our work assisting local civil society organizations and human rights defenders in their fight for justice and accountability. We strongly urge our community to stay up-to-date about the current situation in Sudan. Together, we can make a difference. Let us rise to the challenge and ensure that Sudan does not become a forgotten crisis. 

One way to stay connected is to follow the #KeepEyesonSudan hashtag on X (formerly Twitter) or the Instagram account @NasalSudan, which posts weekly updates on the conflict in Arabic and English. Join our Newsletter to stay up to date and consider donating to support our work in Sudan and other areas. The Sudanese American Physicians Association is also taking donations for various humanitarian aid efforts.

Never again means now. The world must not turn a blind eye to what is taking place in Sudan. The international community must unite to take action as the conflict rages on and impacts millions of people.


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