The United Nations reports that there is widespread suffering in Sudan, as clashes between opposing military groups have caused the largest internal displacement crisis in the world and sparked concerns of government collapse.
The UN requested $4.1 billion (£3.25 billion) on Wednesday to address humanitarian needs. This comes after the UN’s World Food Programme issued warnings about people dying from starvation in regions affected by conflicts.
According to Médecins Sans Frontières, a child is losing their life to malnutrition every two hours in one camp located in the North Darfur area. The organization expressed the situation as being “extremely disastrous”.
The conflict between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has caused severe damage to Sudan’s economy. Approximately half of the country’s 50 million citizens require food aid, and over 11 million have been displaced from their homes. This includes 1.7 million who have sought refuge in neighboring countries such as Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Many of these countries are already facing their own internal struggles.
Filippo Grandi, the UN’s refugee commissioner, expressed his concern for the Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, stating that they have faced significant losses. During his recent visit, he repeatedly heard their plea for peace so that they can return to their homes and rebuild their lives, emphasizing their need for support.
Grandi is calling on the global community to increase their assistance to the citizens of Sudan. He emphasizes their urgent need for aid.
The exact number of fatalities from the 10 months of conflict is uncertain. According to a confidential report from the United Nations, somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 individuals were killed in a single town located in the West Darfur region. The RSF fighters and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting members of ethnic African groups and conducting mass killings by going door-to-door. This violence has sparked concerns of a potential recurrence of the 2003 genocide committed by the Janjaweed, the predecessor of the RSF.
The RSF is making progress in the conflict, solidifying its control over Darfur and expanding into previously unoccupied regions in the east and north of Sudan. In the month of December, it entered Gezira state, which is known as Sudan’s main source of food and a central location for humanitarian organizations.
Attempts made by neighboring countries, the United States, and Saudi Arabia to facilitate a peaceful resolution have not been fruitful.
According to the United Nations, the conflict has harmed Sudan’s access to clean water and has disabled 75% of its healthcare facilities. This has led to an increase in illnesses such as measles, malaria, and cholera.
The United Nations’ humanitarian leader, Martin Griffiths, urged donors to contribute funds to address the rapidly increasing needs of the people. He stated, “The people of Sudan have lost almost everything – their security, their homes, and their means of living – as a result of ten months of conflict.” He also expressed gratitude for the generosity of donors, which enables them to provide essential resources such as food, shelter, clean water, education for children, and support for survivors of gender-based violence.
The United Nations requested $2.5 billion for Sudan last year, but only received 43% of that amount. This shortfall is a result of a larger crisis in humanitarian funding, which has caused operations to be halted and food rations to be reduced in multiple countries.