How does the war in Ukraine threaten millions of Sudanese with starvation?

How does the war in Ukraine threaten millions of Sudanese with starvation? Millions of Sudanese today are more threatened than ever by the threat of starvation, against the backdrop of the economic disruption caused by the lack of crops and the decline in Russian and Ukrainian wheat imports, in return for high prices.  The specter of starvation threatens millions of Sudanese, in light of economic turmoil, high prices and poor harvests due to the scarcity of rain, in addition to the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and the decline in foreign support, according to Reuters.  The rising levels of hunger, predicted by United Nations agencies, have raised fears of increasing instability in a country facing many crises and poverty, which were exacerbated after the military coup last year.  Sudan is experiencing an economic crisis before the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.  The transitional government had received billions of dollars in international support, but that was later suspended after the coup, putting Sudan on the brink of economic collapse.  Meanwhile, currency devaluations and subsidy reforms pushed up prices.  Inflation reached more than 250% in the capital, Khartoum, and the price of a small loaf of bread rose from two Sudanese pounds two years ago to about 50 pounds ($0.11).  Sudan imports about 87% of its wheat consumption from Russia and Ukraine, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, making it one of the Arab countries most affected by the war in Ukraine.  According to World Bank estimates in 2021, 56 percent of Sudan's 44 million people live on less than $3.20, or about 2,000 Sudanese pounds, per day, up from 43 percent in 2009.  Last week, the World Food Program estimated that by September the number of people suffering levels of hunger that would force them to sell basic assets, or who would have no more to sell, would double by September to 18 million.  In this context, said Marianne Ward, Deputy Director of the World Food Program: "This jump did not happen yesterday or two months ago, it is accumulation."  "This collapse is no longer driven solely by conflict, but is also related to structural issues such as inflation and the availability of foreign currency," she added.  On the other hand, experts say that inflation is making farmers unable to bear the costs of agricultural requirements such as seeds, fertilizers and fuel, in addition to the increasing disturbances in some agricultural areas, especially due to the scarcity of rain.  Over the past five years, production of sorghum, millet and wheat crops has fallen by 30% from what it was on average, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program.  United Nations bodies expect Sudan to face a shortage of maize, which is the country's staple grain, for the first time since the droughts that ravaged the region in the 1980s.  Both the IMF and the World Bank froze billions of dollars, some of which were earmarked to support agriculture, due to the military coup last October.  Meanwhile, direct humanitarian aid continues, despite the suspension of the US Agency for International Development and the World Food Program, programs that were intended to support the transitional civilian government by covering about a quarter of wheat consumption last year.  The WFP says its food stocks in Sudan will run out by next May in the absence of new funding.

Millions of Sudanese today are more threatened than ever by the threat of starvation, against the backdrop of the economic disruption caused by the lack of crops and the decline in Russian and Ukrainian wheat imports, in return for high prices.

The specter of starvation threatens millions of Sudanese, in light of economic turmoil, high prices and poor harvests due to the scarcity of rain, in addition to the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and the decline in foreign support, according to Reuters.

The rising levels of hunger, predicted by United Nations agencies, have raised fears of increasing instability in a country facing many crises and poverty, which were exacerbated after the military coup last year.

Sudan is experiencing an economic crisis before the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The transitional government had received billions of dollars in international support, but that was later suspended after the coup, putting Sudan on the brink of economic collapse.

Meanwhile, currency devaluations and subsidy reforms pushed up prices.

Inflation reached more than 250% in the capital, Khartoum, and the price of a small loaf of bread rose from two Sudanese pounds two years ago to about 50 pounds ($0.11).

Sudan imports about 87% of its wheat consumption from Russia and Ukraine, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, making it one of the Arab countries most affected by the war in Ukraine.

According to World Bank estimates in 2021, 56 percent of Sudan's 44 million people live on less than $3.20, or about 2,000 Sudanese pounds, per day, up from 43 percent in 2009.

Last week, the World Food Program estimated that by September the number of people suffering levels of hunger that would force them to sell basic assets, or who would have no more to sell, would double by September to 18 million.

In this context, said Marianne Ward, Deputy Director of the World Food Program: "This jump did not happen yesterday or two months ago, it is accumulation."

"This collapse is no longer driven solely by conflict, but is also related to structural issues such as inflation and the availability of foreign currency," she added.

On the other hand, experts say that inflation is making farmers unable to bear the costs of agricultural requirements such as seeds, fertilizers and fuel, in addition to the increasing disturbances in some agricultural areas, especially due to the scarcity of rain.

Over the past five years, production of sorghum, millet and wheat crops has fallen by 30% from what it was on average, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program.

United Nations bodies expect Sudan to face a shortage of maize, which is the country's staple grain, for the first time since the droughts that ravaged the region in the 1980s.

Both the IMF and the World Bank froze billions of dollars, some of which were earmarked to support agriculture, due to the military coup last October.

Meanwhile, direct humanitarian aid continues, despite the suspension of the US Agency for International Development and the World Food Program, programs that were intended to support the transitional civilian government by covering about a quarter of wheat consumption last year.

The WFP says its food stocks in Sudan will run out by next May in the absence of new funding.
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