Looming famine in Sudan: The future of an entire nation is at stake

Today, the UN Security Council convened a briefing on conflict-induced food insecurity in Sudan under the “Protection of civilians in armed conflict” agenda item. The meeting followed a white note on hunger in Sudan of 15 March. Slovenia, together with Guyana, Sierra Leone and Switzerland, requested the meeting, stressing the urgent need to alleviate the escalating food insecurity crisis and to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access.

The representatives of OCHA, WFP and FAO briefed the Council, highlighting that the scale of hunger across Sudan is deeply concerning. According to OCHA, “Sudan is one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory,” with massive humanitarian needs, nearly 18 million people facing acute food insecurity and more than 8 million people displaced internally and across the borders. WFP is deeply concerned “that hunger will spike even higher in the weeks ahead, when Sudan’s lean season arrives in May.”


The situation in Sudan continues to deteriorate as the conflict nears the one-year mark on 15 April. “It is time to speed up our efforts. The Security Council issued a clear message to the parties in conflict for an immediate cessation of hostilities during Ramadan. We reiterate our call to the warring parties to silence their guns and cease hostilities,” stressed Ambassador Samuel Žbogar. He urged all parties to the conflict to implement Security Council resolution 2724. Slovenia continues to support coordinated regional and broader diplomatic initiatives to end this ongoing conflict.

Food insecurity in Sudan is widespread  and  rapidly deteriorating, with malnutrition reaching alarming levels. OCHA’s humanitarian partners estimate “that in the coming weeks and months, somewhere in the region of around 222,000 children could die from malnutrition.”

The use of starvation as a method of warfare is prohibited under international humanitarian law. “Moreover, it is brutal, heartless and inhumane,” said Ambassador Žbogar, adding that the parties must respect their obligations under international law.

“Humanitarian response is a lifeline for millions of people. It is imperative to ensure that humanitarian aid can reach those in need unhindered,” the Ambassador said, while reiterating the call on all parties to facilitate cross-line and cross-border humanitarian access.

In the conclusion, Slovenia stressed that the plight of the most vulnerable deserves our immediate attention and the Council’s responsibility.

The full statement is available here.

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