Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Humanitarian Catastrophe in Sudan as the Lean Season Begins

12 Apr, 2024 Press Release 35



12th April 2024, Nairobi, Kenya: As Sudan faces one of the most severe humanitarian crises in recent history, urgent action is needed to prevent a looming humanitarian tragedy. This is as the escalation of the conflict, which erupted on 15 April 2023, threatens to put millions into the worst levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition.

Multi-sectoral humanitarian needs have reached new, alarming highs as a result of livelihood disruptions, large-scale displacement, interruptions of trade routes and markets, and limited humanitarian access, among other challenges. These needs are likely to escalate steeply as the lean season begins, especially given the poor performance of the 2023 cropping season.

“We are confronted with a dire humanitarian situation in Sudan, where millions of lives are threatened by hunger, malnutrition, and diseases. Now, more than ever, the moment calls for collective action and global solidarity to provide essential life-saving aid to the Sudanese people and the neighbouring countries hosting Sudanese refugees. Indeed, addressing the root cause of the crisis necessitates urgent and coordinated efforts to cease hostilities. IGAD remains steadfast in its commitment to working closely with other continental and international partners to achieve a permanent ceasefire and an inclusive political resolution in Sudan.” noted Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD Executive Secretary.

Expressing grave concern about the situation in Sudan, Farayi Zimudzi, ad interim Subregional Coordinator for East Africa at FAO stated “The situation is extremely critical. Over 18 million people are currently facing acute food insecurity, which is the highest number ever recorded during a harvest season. Moreover, more than 8 million people have been displaced, making Sudan the site of the world's largest displacement crisis. We cannot overemphasise that urgent humanitarian assistance is needed to eliminate the risk of famine and the window for delivering such assistance is closing fast."

The situation demands unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access, and an immediate and substantial increase in humanitarian funding to bolster life-saving humanitarian response. As of 10 April, the 2024 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan is only six per cent funded, severely hampering the capacity to respond effectively. In addition is support to local agricultural production during the next planting season, and collaboration and coordination within and with other sectors, which is crucial for a well-coordinated and efficient response. The most pressing need, however, is to secure an immediate ceasefire, as this is the only viable solution to address the root causes of the crisis.

Collective Call to Action

For media interviews and requests, please contact:


(Djibouti) Austine Opata: austine.opata@igad.int

(Nairobi) Paula Machio: paula.machio@igad.int


(Addis Ababa) Tezeta Hailemeskel: tezeta.hailemeskel@fao.org

(Nairobi) Judith Mulinge: judith.mulinge@fao.org

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