Sudan on brink of collapse and starvation

The conflict has triggered what may become the world's worst hunger crisis, with millions of people driven into acute food insecurity.

Sudan is facing a severe crisis that risks pushing the country to the brink of famine and collapse. The ongoing conflict, which started in April 2023 between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, has escalated tensions and violence across the country, severely impacting the population and infrastructure.

The conflict has triggered what may become the world’s worst hunger crisis, with millions of people driven into acute food insecurity. As of early 2024, about 18 million people in Sudan are facing acute hunger, and the situation is particularly dire for around five million who are experiencing emergency levels of hunger due to the conflict. This crisis is compounded by displacement, with nearly eight million people displaced, creating the world’s largest displacement crisis.

In one year, the conflict has precipitated “one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory,” according to the United Nations, displacing more than 8 million people. It’s also been judged “the world’s largest internal displacement crisis,” according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and has taken the lives of at least 14,000 people UN estimates suggest.

The humanitarian situation is further exacerbated by restricted access for aid organizations, which struggle to deliver food and assistance due to ongoing violence and interference from warring parties. This has led to reports of people dying from starvation as humanitarian aid cannot consistently reach those in need. The World Food Programme has urgently called for unhindered access to deliver aid and emphasized the need for a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian operations.

International responses have included calls for immediate cessation of hostilities and the establishment of a peaceful political resolution to address the humanitarian disaster. The international community, including countries like the United States and organizations like the UN, are heavily involved in providing aid and attempting to mediate the conflict, but the situation remains precarious.

Chad is significantly affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan, primarily due to the influx of refugees and the overall destabilization of the region. Since the conflict began in April 2023, Chad has received more than 300,000 refugees from Sudan, which has strained its resources and heightened its humanitarian needs. This influx adds to the existing population of refugees from previous conflicts, exacerbating the challenges faced by Chad in providing adequate services and security.

The border between Sudan and Chad has historically been a volatile area, with both countries having a history of hosting and supporting rebel groups against each other. This longstanding instability has been aggravated by the current conflict, raising fears that the violence could spill over into Chad. Furthermore, the refugee crisis places additional pressure on Chad’s political and social systems, which are already dealing with internal transitions and instability.

Chad’s geographic proximity to the conflict zones in Sudan’s Darfur region means it is particularly vulnerable to the fallout from the war. The conflict has led to a significant movement of people across the border into Chad, which could further destabilize the region if not managed properly. This situation poses a serious threat to Chad’s stability and requires careful handling to prevent further regional destabilization.

Chad’s role in relation to the Sudan conflict is primarily as a host for refugees and as a potential victim of the regional instability caused by the war. The international community’s support and effective management of the refugee situation are crucial to preventing a deeper crisis in Chad and the broader region.

The situation in Sudan requires urgent international attention and cooperation to prevent further deterioration and potential famine. Immediate action is needed to ensure humanitarian access and to foster a peaceful resolution to the conflict.