Sudan: Ten Hunger Facts

A volunteer announces a food drop in the Jonglei state of southern Sudan where WFP airlifted food for 5,000 people in November 2009. 

Copyright: WFP/Mohamed Siddig

Voters went to the polls last week in Sudan, a country where WFP is running its biggest operation worldwide. We aim to bring food assistance to 11 million Sudanese people in 2010, including 4.3 million in the south. Here are the top ten hunger facts for Sudan.

1. One in four Sudanese at risk

Around 11 million people in Sudan, nearly a quarter of the population, are classified as 'food insecure', meaning they are at risk of going hungry. WFP aims to provide food assistance to all of them in 2010. Read story

2. Hunger on the rise
The number of people needing food aid in southern Sudan quadrupled this year from 1.1 million to 4.3 million. Nine in ten people in the area live on less than one dollar a day.

3. Threats to Food Security

Extreme climate conditions, poor infrastracture and the plight of displaced peoples are among the main threats to Sudan's ability to feed itself.

4. Spending on food

Over 60% of the average Sudanese family's income is spent on food, leaving very little for other essentials. This is similar to the situation in many other poor countries around the world.

5. Low food consumption

An average 15% of families eat inadequately, both in terms of quantity and quality. Surveys show that percentage rises to 40% in the poorest parts of the country.

6. Widespread malnutrition

Some 32% of Sudanese children are chronically malnourished. Levels of malnutrition overall are well above the emergency threshold. Intervening early in life is essential.

7. Poor harvests, high prices

Sudan produced 30% to 40% less food in the last harvest (end 2009) than it does on average. Cereal prices have remained extremely high since 2008, particularly by comparison to international markets. It can cost three times more to buy cereals locally than it does abroad.

8. Mothers and children 

Some 550,000 breastfeeding mothers and babies in Sudan are in need of nutritious supplementary food. WFP plans to assist them through Mother and Child Health schemes.

9. School Meals

WFP feeds almost 1.5 million children through its school meals programme, helping to keep them in school as well as providing nutritious food which is important for their health and ability to concentrate.

10. Global Hunger Index

Sudan's hunger situation is on the verge of 'alarming', according to the 2009 Global Hunger Index, a classification of hunger-prone countries published annually by the International Food Policy Research Institute.