Sudan could become ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’, McCain warns


World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain warned on Sunday of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

In an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” McCain emphasized the importance of “safe and unfettered access” for the organization to deliver food to the war-torn country.

“Sudan has a real possibility of becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis,” McCain said. “We can’t get food in there – we can barely get food in – we certainly can’t get it on a large scale, and you see the results of what can happen when people aren’t fed.”

Noting that the situation is likely to become more difficult in the coming months, McCain said: “We are also entering the lean season, which often makes it very difficult for our trucks to even move if they can get in.”

“We need more crossings. We need safe and unfettered access,” she said, comparing the obstacles in Sudan to those the WFP faces in delivering food to Gazans.

“The bottom line is, people are going to starve if we don’t get in there,” she added.

McCain highlighted the potential consequences if the world ignores the crisis in Sudan.

“Sudan is a forgotten crisis, and its consequences, because they are a destabilizing factor in that region, could have catastrophic consequences in the long term,” she said. “So it’s really imperative that we get the crossings open, that we have safe access, that the different factions understand that we are, you know, humanitarian and that we need access.”

The WFP has done that been calling for “warring parties to provide unrestricted access to crisis-affected communities” as hunger rages in the region. About 18 million people face ‘acute hunger’ in Sudan, including five million who are in a ‘starvation emergency’.

The WFP said nearly 90 percent of those in an “emergency situation” are in areas where access is “extremely limited due to heavy fighting and restrictions.”

The WFP announced on Thursday an expansion of its emergency food and nutrition assistance in Sudan.

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