Concern programs at refugee camp in Chad

Concern Worldwide Warns Sudan is Close to Famine

Time is running out to prevent famine after four months of conflict in Sudan, Concern Worldwide has warned.

Concern is deeply concerned that almost 6.3 million people are in areas of Sudan that are one step away from an official famine classification.

"We must do everything we can to prevent famine and people suffering and dying from hunger," said Concern's Regional Director for the Horn of Africa, Amina Abdulla.

"The levels of hunger in the country are deeply concerning and if humanitarian access doesn't improve the outcomes will be catastrophic."

The UN-led organization that issues famine warnings (the Integrated Food Security Phase classification, known as the IPC) said Sudan's conflict and economic decline have driven about 20.3 million people (over 42 percent of its population) into high levels of acute food insecurity.

Currently, 14 million of those people are living in IPC Phase 3 (two steps from famine) and 6.3 million people (13 percent of the population) are experiencing worse conditions in IPC Phase 4, which is considered an emergency and one level below famine.

Food prices have also soared, food production has been dramatically reduced, humanitarian aid access is limited, and it is forecast that rainfall will be below average this year, which will further impact crops, livestock, and the availability of water.

"We continue to face challenges in the movement of goods and staff into and across the country," added Amina Abdulla.

"It is only a matter of time before we run out of supplies in the various health facilities that we support and services come to a halt despite the ever-increasing levels of needs across the country."

Over one million people have fled Sudan to neighboring countries since the conflict began on April 15th, according to the UN. Over 366,430 of those refugees arrived in Eastern Chad where aid organizations like Concern are trying to provide the much needed support. Most of them are women and children arriving with few items and very traumatized.

Despite the conflict, Concern continues to deliver humanitarian assistance in Sudan, centered mostly around providing health and nutrition services. However, more funding for urgent humanitarian support is needed to save lives and prevent further escalation of this emergency.