KHARTOUM: The World Bank has released $100 million for the World Food Programme to tackle “deep food insecurity” for 2 million people in Sudan, where aid was suspended following an October coup.
The funds will help provide an “emergency safety net” amid worsening hunger in the northeast African nation “caused by a poor harvest and rising international food prices,” the bank said in a statement. Grain prices surged earlier this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The funds will be channeled solely through the WFP to scale up the food security response and provide direct support to the most vulnerable people of Sudan,” the bank said.
The aid will provide “cash transfers and food” to more than 2 million people needing aid across 11 of Sudan’s 18 states.
The UN estimates that a third of Sudanese needs humanitarian aid, and warns that 18 million people — nearly half the population — will be pushed into extreme hunger by September. Sudan is mired in an economic crisis that has deepened since last year’s coup led by army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.
After the coup, the World Bank froze vital aid, and the bank on Thursday said the “pause of disbursements” to the government in Khartoum “remains in effect.”
Inflation is approaching 200 percent, the currency is in free-fall and the price of bread has increased tenfold since the coup.
Last month, aid agency Save the Children said two children in the troubled western region of North Darfur had “died from hunger-related causes,” which it said was “an ominous sign of what is to come.”
The UN has also warned this week that its aid response plan “which calls for $1.9 billion, is only 20 percent funded.”
Before the coup, international aid totalled some $2 billion, some 40 percent of the state budget.