At A Glance:  
• One third of Sudan are facing severe food insecurity, with five million people on the verge of famine.
• The country is facing the worst displacement crisis in the world, with 8.5 million people forced to flee their homes due to conflict that began on April 15, 2023.
• Baptist World Aid’s Christian Partners are in Sudan, providing food and life-saving assistance to help families survive.

Millions of people in Sudan are on the verge of famine, as violent conflict causes a severe shortage of food, clean water, healthcare supplies, and shelter. Here’s a quick explainer to help you understand what’s happening, and how you can help.  

What’s Happening In Sudan? 

Sudan is caught in large-scale conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), two rival military factions fighting for power.  

Since its independence in 1956, the country has been plagued by political instability, conflict, and human rights abuses. In 2019, civilians rose up against Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s former president who’s since been charged with war crimes and genocide. The military supported the people’s protests and overthrew Bashir in a coup, ending decades of authoritarian rule. Together they set up a temporary civilian and military government, with plans to develop a fair and stable government in Sudan. 

Two years later, the interim government was dissolved. On April 15, 2023, violence erupted between the SAF and RSF on the streets of Khartoum, the heavily populated capital city of Sudan. Fighting between these military factions quickly spread throughout the country and continues today, with armed groups joining in and escalating the conflict. Here’s what Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, recently said about the situation: 

The Sudanese people have been subjected to untold suffering during the conflict, which has been marked by indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas, ethnically motivated attacks, and a high incidence of conflict-related sexual violence. 

How Does This Conflict Affect Communities In Sudan? 

Before the latest eruption of violence, Sudan was already in need of humanitarian aid due to longstanding conflict in Darfur. Back in 2022, around 3.7 million Sudanese were displaced from their homes and living in temporary shelters. The country was also host to one million refugees from surrounding nations such as South Sudan, and had the second-highest refugee population in Africa.  

When the latest conflict began, thousands of homes, hospitals, and essential buildings were destroyed, quickly tipping entrenched displacement into a crisis situation. In the span of a single year, the number of displaced people in Sudan rose to 8.5 million, over half of them children. Women and girls are at increased risk of harm, with abuse, gender-based violence, and exploitation on the rise since the conflict began. 

This is now the largest internal displacement crisis in the world.  

Why Is Famine Being Declared In Sudan? 

Conflict impacts communities in far-reaching ways. Aside from inflicting harm on civilians and displacing families, it makes producing or accessing food a near-impossible task. 

In Sudan, the destruction of market centres, processing factories and transport routes by heavy fighting, along with skyrocketing inflation, has made food difficult to access. Floods and droughts have also impacted the country’s crops and livestock, further exacerbating shortages. 

Right now, close to 18 million people in Sudan—one third of the population—are facing acute food insecurity, which is when a person’s inability to consume enough food puts their life or livelihood in immediate danger. For five million of these people, the situation is so severe that they’re on the verge of famine. If things continue as they are, humanitarian experts predict that 230,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers could die from malnutrition in the coming months.  

What Can I Do To Help The People Of Sudan? 

While the situation in Sudan is dire, we continue to trust in God’s goodness. God is always present—even in this conflict—and he’s already at work in Sudan. Famine can be prevented if we act quickly to prevent the worst-case scenario for families struggling to access food.  

Famine can be prevented if we act quickly to prevent the worst-case scenario for families struggling to access food.  

Baptist World Aid’s Christian Partners serve in regions where families face severe food insecurity, including Sudan. Together we’re helping families who are caught in conflict in Sudan access treatment for malnutrition, so their children don’t die from starvation. We’re also providing other forms of assistance, such as nutrition support for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, clean water to keep people safe from disease, and non-food essentials. 

You can help displaced families in Sudan and surrounding countries survive this crisis by giving to our Hunger Crisis Appeal. Your gift will help provide access to emergency malnutrition treatment, as well as addressing other needs exacerbated by food insecurity.