Rising hunger looms in Sudan, with little aid in sight

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Millions more Sudanese are set to go hungry this year as economic turmoil and erratic rains drive up prices and reduce harvests, with a halt to foreign assistance and the war in Ukraine putting food supplies at further risk.

The rising levels of hunger forecast by United Nations agencies threaten to further destabilise a country that faces growing conflict and poverty following a military takeover last year.

Sudan has been mired in economic crisis since before the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in an uprising in 2019. A transitional government attracted billions of dollars in international support, but that was suspended after the coup, placing Sudan on the brink of economic collapse.

Currency devaluations and subsidy reforms have driven up prices, and inflation is running at more than 250%. In the capital Khartoum, the cost of ever-shrinking small loaves of bread has risen from 2 Sudanese pounds two years ago to about 50 pounds ($0.11) today.

Some 87% of Sudan’s imported wheat comes from Russia and Ukraine, according to FAO data, making it one of the Arab world’s most exposed countries to the war in Ukraine.

“If this measly piece of bread is 50 pounds, what kind of life can we have?” said Haj Ahmed, an elderly man at a vegetable stall in Alhalfaya, on the capital’s outskirts.

The World Bank estimates that in 2021 56% of Sudan’s population of around 44 million were surviving on less than $3.20, or about 2,000 pounds per day, one of its global poverty lines, up from 43% in 2009.

Culled From (Reuters)

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