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Experts warn: At least 750,000 people in Sudan are on the verge of starvation and death

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At least 750,000 people in Sudan are on the brink of starvation and death, the world’s leading authority on famine said Thursday, as a devastating civil war leaves more than half of the country’s 48 million people chronically hungry.

At least 14 districts across the country are on the brink of famine, including some areas in the capital, Khartoum, according to the latest data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, a panel of experts from UN agencies and major relief organizations that measures hunger levels and makes formal declarations of famine.

The horrific latest news appeared to confirm warnings by aid experts that Sudan is heading for a humanitarian disaster not seen in decades.

“This is probably the biggest crisis in a generation,” said Edouard Rodier, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s director of European affairs, who was in western Sudan last week. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

In a report Posted on ThursdayThe organization said 25.6 million Sudanese, more than half the population, were in a food crisis. Of those, 8.5 million were severely malnourished or struggling to survive, and 755,000 were in a “catastrophe” – essentially a state of famine.

The IPC last released a report on Sudan In Decemberwith zero people facing catastrophic food insecurity. The latest figures even exceed those in Gaza, where Tuesday said 495,000 people face the same situation.

Still, the organization has not officially declared a famine in Sudan, partly because reliable data is hard to come by. Sudan’s health system is collapsing and aid workers are unable to reach the worst-hit areas due to intense fighting and restrictions imposed by the warring parties.

Still, few experts doubt that mass death has already occurred and that the situation is likely to deteriorate rapidly in the coming months. Back in February, a senior UN official warned the Security Council 222,000 Sudanese children Probably die within the next few months.

A recent study by the Clingendaal Institute, a Dutch research group, estimated that Up to 2.5 million people By October, 2.5 million people in Sudan may have died from hunger-related causes.

“We may not see a famine declaration, but there is no doubt that this is a crisis of unprecedented magnitude in 40 years that will kill hundreds of thousands of Sudanese,” Alex de Waal, a famine scholar at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said on the “Clarion” podcast this week.

Since fighting broke out in April 2023 At least nine million Sudanese Tom Perillo, the U.S. envoy to Sudan, estimated the death toll could be as high as 150,000, but added that an exact figure was not available.

The areas most threatened by famine include western Darfur, Big City Siege sparked fears of a massacre; in the capital, Khartoum; and in Peninsula state, the country’s breadbasket, the IPC said.

“This is the greatest humanitarian crisis on Earth,” USAID Administrator Samantha Power told reporters June 14.

Powers and other U.S. officials have repeatedly accused the warring parties in the war — Sudan’s national army and a powerful paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces — of using starvation as a weapon of war.

Foreign sponsors that fuel the war have also come under scrutiny, especially United Arab EmiratesThe United States and Iran Support the Rapid Support Force Drones available For the military.

Yet despite its growing scale, Sudan’s war has not attracted the same high-level attention as the Darfur crisis two decades ago, when Sudan became the focus of the White House and celebrities such as movie star George Clooney.

The United Nations said it had received 17% It has requested $2.7 billion in aid for Sudan.

“World leaders continue to pay lip service to the crisis in Sudan,” said Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, head of the global aid group Mercy Corps. “But they are failing to rise to the challenge.”

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