The United Nations has summoned the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar, as well as the European Union and the African Union, calling for increased support for humanitarian action as Sudan’s neighbours face a constant influx of refugees and returnees.
700,000 children at risk of death
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), millions of people – particularly in Khartoum, Darfur and Kordofan – have no access to food, water, shelter, electricity, education or health care.
Malnutrition rates are on the rise, pointing to premature death for 700,000 Sudanese children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Half the population is acutely food insecure, and more than 6 million people are just one step away from starvation. Measles and other diseases are endemic, and sexual and gender-based violence takes a heavy toll on women and girls.
More than 7 million people, including 3.3 million children, have been driven from their homes, and more than 1 million have sought refuge in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The international response plan must be strengthened
In the short term, aid to the population must be stepped up. The Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan needs 2.6 billion dollars to help 18 million people until the end of the year. However, it is currently only 31% funded.
The Sudan Regional Refugee Assistance Plan, meanwhile, is only 27% funded and is seeking $1 billion to support refugees, returnees and host communities in five of Sudan’s neighbouring countries.
At a pledging ceremony in Geneva in June, according to an OCHA and UNHCR press release, donors pledged nearly 1.5 billion dollars for the response in Sudan and the region.