UN launches new plan to help Sudanese civilians

UN appeals for $4.1B to meet most urgent humanitarian needs of civilians in one of world's biggest displacement crises

Bitter fighting in Sudan continues fueling one of the world’s biggest displacement crises, and in response, the UN on Wednesday appealed for a combined $4.1 billion to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of civilians.

The UN said the appeal, also on behalf of its partners, seeks to help cover more than 1.5 million people who have fled across Sudan’s borders to neighboring countries such as the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

Those countries already have their resources stretched, as most of those fleeing arrive in remote locations lacking essential services.

Since the conflict erupted, half of Sudan’s population – some 25 million people – needs humanitarian assistance and protection, said the UN.

“Ten months of conflict have robbed the people of Sudan of nearly everything – their safety, their homes, and their livelihoods,” said the UN aid chief Martin Griffiths.

“The generosity of donors helps us provide food and nutrition, shelter, clean water, and education for children, and to fight the scourge of gender-based violence and care for the survivors.”

Last year, only half-funded

He noted that last year’s appeal was less than half funded, and this year, there is “a heightened sense of urgency.”

The expansion of fighting in Sudan – including to the country’s breadbasket, Aj Jazirah – has created one of the world’s biggest displacement and protection crises, with nearly 18 million people facing acute food insecurity.

Intense hostilities continue to damage water supply networks and other critical civilian infrastructure in Sudan, Africa’s third-biggest country, and nearly three-quarters of health facilities are not functioning in conflict-affected states.

Diseases, including cholera, measles, and malaria, are spreading at a time when two-thirds of the population lack access to health care.

Some 19 million children are out of school. Human rights violations are widespread, with continued reports of gender-based violence.

The UN plans aim to support some 17.4 million people in Sudan and the region.

The UN said support for the humanitarian response is crucial, but investments to strengthen national services and community resilience are equally critical to supporting host governments and enabling people to live in dignity.

“I just met with displaced families in Ethiopia and inside Sudan – they have lost so much,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“Time after time, we hear the same message: ‘We want peace so we can go home, and we need support to rebuild our lives.'”

Aid workers from 167 humanitarian organizations reached some 7 million people in Sudan in 2023 with the support of international donors.

Despite significant access challenges, the humanitarian community delivered life-saving assistance across conflict lines in Sudan, and it continues to support Sudanese local responders in areas that few international partners can reach, including Khartoum and Darfur.

Cross-border access from Chad has been a critical lifeline, with other avenues under consideration.

In 2023, 64 partners supported host governments in providing more than 1.5 million people with critical life-saving support and protection in Sudan’s five neighboring countries.

According to the UN, the Refugee Response Plan aims to continue life-saving interventions and additionally support resilience-building interventions for up to 2.7 million people in 2024.


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