Darfur Hunger Crisis: UN Reports Residents Forced to Eat ‘Grass and Peanut Shells’ Amidst War’s Devastation in Sudan

A UN agency has issued a dire warning regarding the looming threat of starvation in Darfur, Sudan, as escalating violence continues to devastate the region. Michael Dunford, representing the World Food Programme (WFP) in Eastern Africa, emphasized the urgent need for intervention, noting that residents have been forced to consume “grass and peanut shells” as food supplies dwindle. The protracted civil war, which erupted in April 2023, has plunged Sudan into a brutal conflict characterized by widespread violence, sexual atrocities, and a surge of refugees fleeing the chaos.

Recent incidents of violence in South Darfur, where two drivers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were killed and three others injured, underscore the precarious security situation that humanitarian organizations face in delivering vital aid to affected communities. Meanwhile, North Darfur’s capital, El Fasher, finds itself increasingly encircled by forces, with reports of escalating atrocities including arbitrary killings and village burnings, according to UN officials.

Despite hosting a significant population of displaced individuals seeking refuge from violence across Sudan, El Fasher is witnessing a surge in displacement, with over 36,000 people forced to flee their homes in recent weeks alone, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. Food aid delivery to Darfur has been hampered by ongoing fighting and bureaucratic hurdles, leaving approximately 1.7 million people at risk of acute hunger, as revealed by the WFP.

The situation’s urgency cannot be overstated, with millions of lives hanging in the balance. Immediate and concerted action is imperative to avert a catastrophic famine and address the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Darfur, Sudan.