The UN and the crisis in Sudan

9.2 million
displaced by conflict since 15 April 2023
reportedly killed
25 million
People in need of assistance in 2024

What is the crisis about?

On 15 April 15, 2023, the fighting erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The armed conflict is affecting millions of lives in Sudan and causing mass displacement, food insecurity and education challenges that require immediate humanitarian help.

Right now, Sudan is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe with over 25 million people in desperate need of assistance.

More information on the background to the conflict.

Latest developments

2 July

Millions of people have been forced out of Sudan as the brutal civil war continues to spread, including in Sinja Town, south of the capital Khartoum, where UN humanitarians reported on Tuesday that more than 55,000 people have already fled.

  • To provide lifesaving aid to those forced out of Sudan, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), revised its original $1.4 billion appeal to $1.5 billion. (UN News)
  • As fighting rages in Sudan, refugee aid efforts expand to two new countries (UNHCR)

1 July

Unidentified armed men in Sudan on Sunday attacked UN World Food Programme (WFP) trucks carrying food assistance meant for thousands of civilians in need in central Darfur, the agency reported. (UN News)

  • Sudan flash update – conflict in Sinja, Sennar State (OCHA)

28 June

“I came here from Sudan where almost the entire population of school-aged children – some 17 million children– have been out of school since the war began over a year ago.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell’s remarks at the G7 Ministerial meeting on Education in Trieste, Italy

Statement by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Administrator on the food crisis in Sudan

27 June

The risk of widespread famine in Sudan caused by war there was confirmed on Thursday by leading hunger experts who warned that the country faces “the worst levels of acute food insecurity ever recorded”, with no less than 14 areas at the highest level of risk. (UN News)

  • WFP is calling for funds and humanitarian access to avert famine in Sudan. (WFP)
  • Sudan is facing an unprecedented hunger catastrophe, say UN Agency Chiefs (WFP)
  • New data reveals that over 750,000 people are experiencing catastrophic levels of food insecurity with 25.6 million people in crisis levels of hunger (UNICEF)

26 June

More than 400 children reportedly killed or injured in Sudan’s El Fasher in past seven weeks while hunger continues to haunt the country’s children (UNICEF)

24 June

Heavy fighting in Sudan hit a new low over the weekend when a maternity hospital in besieged El Fasher city came under attack, killing a pharmacy worker and prompting new calls on Monday from the head of the UN health agency for the violence to stop. (UN News)

23 June

Statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Clementine NkwetaSalami, on attack on hospital in Al Fasher, North Darfur. (OCHA)

20 June

World Food Programme boosting operations to support an additional 5 million people by the end of the year – and avert famine in the war-torn country (WFP)

19 June

On his second visit to Sudan since the outbreak of war last year, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned today that without concerted peace efforts, many more people will flee the brutal war in Sudan and into neighbouring countries. (UNHCR)

“It’s war. Run.” Fighting between factions in Sudan’s military has plunged the country into a humanitarian crisis (UNDP)

18 June

The UN Security Council in New York focused on the worsening crisis in Sudan as civilians continue to suffer amidst the brutal fighting between rival militaries, while the Geneva-based Human Rights Council heard independent investigators describe combatants’ “blatant disregard” for fundamental human rights and international law. (UN News)

© UNICEF/Tariq Khalil Millions across Sudan have been driven by the conflict between rival militaries. In this file photo, a child collects water from a deep well in central Darfur.
© UNICEF/Tariq Khalil Millions across Sudan have been driven by the conflict between rival militaries. In this file photo, a child collects water from a deep well in central Darfur.
  • UN relief head in war-torn Sudan warns ‘we’re in a race against time’ as famine looms (UN News)
  • Sexual violence and conflict in Sudan: A war on the bodies of women and girls (UNFPA)
  • Oral update by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for the Sudan (UN Human Rights Council)

12 June

G7 leaders can and must prevent human-made famine – Statement by Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA)

10 June

At least six children reportedly killed in escalating violence in Sudan’s El Fasher as thousands more young lives hang in the balance (UNICEF)

7 June

Since the war broke out in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, in April 2023, Sudan has witnessed the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. The Sudanese civilians have fled to the different Sudan states and different countries for safety. (UNESCO)

6 June

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently expanding its emergency food and nutrition assistance in war-torn Sudan amid the looming threat of famine, as conditions for civilians deteriorate and fighting intensifies in battle zones like El Fasher and Khartoum

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General – on Sudan (OSSG)

21 May

In the new Sudan Situation External Update UNHCR informs that the Secretary-General has expressed grave concern over the fighting in El Fasher, warning that over 800,000 civilians are at risk due to heavy weaponry use, resulting in casualties, displacement, and infrastructure destruction.

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted Sudan’s dire situation, emphasizing the urgent need for parties to protect civilians and address severe shortages of medical supplies. Since April 2023, over 30,000 forcibly displaced individuals from Sudan have arrived in CAR, with UNHCR and partners providing aid and distributing relief items and digital ration cards to refugees. (UNHCR)

19 May

The new WFP’s Market Monitor expresses concerns over April prices of sorghum, wheat flour, and goats that rose significantly, while groundnut prices slightly declined. The WFP local food basket (LFB) cost increased by 11.89% from the previous month and 127.29% year-over-year.

The exchange rate devalued further to 1,365 SDG/1US$, and the average daily wage for casual labor remained stable at SDG 6,083. These conditions, coupled with below-average crop yields, pose a severe risk of food insecurity for millions. (WFP)

19 May

Over 757,000 Sudanese and Chadians have fled Darfur to 32 entry points in eastern Chad, which hosts 45.4% of Sudanese refugees. These refugees reside in numerous formal and informal camps across 11 health districts in Ennedi East, Ouaddaï, Sila, and Wadi Fira provinces. (WHO)

17 May

Since April 2023, about 8.8 million people have been displaced in and out of Sudan according to the new WFP Sudan Regional Crisis External Situation Report. Across Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad, approximately 28 million individuals are facing acute food insecurity.

In Sudan alone, over 3.66 million children under 5 and 1.2 million pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls are acutely malnourished. In April, the World Food Programme assisted over 1 million people in Sudan, 37,532 in South Sudan, and 360,994 in Chad. (WFP)

17 May

Uganda has seen a substantial influx of Sudanese refugees, with over 33,000 arrivals, including 19,000 in Kampala, since the beginning of 2024. This surge, alongside funding shortages, strains refugee services and risks undermining Uganda’s robust refugee protection system, despite hosting nearly 1.7 million refugees, primarily from South Sudan and the DRC, making it one of Africa’s top refugee-hosting countries. (UNHCR)

17 May

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk is deeply alarmed by the intensifying conflict in El-Fasher, Darfur, resulting in significant civilian casualties. At least 58 civilians have been killed and 213 injured in the recent escalation.

Türk held discussions with Lt-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council and Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, urging immediate and public action to de-escalate the violence in El-Fasher and across Sudan. (OHCHR)

15 May

In her recent briefing, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, emphasized the worsening humanitarian crisis in Sudan, particularly in El Fasher, North Darfur. She expressed grave concern about the escalating violence, which has resulted in civilian casualties and mass displacement, threatening the lives of 800,000 civilians in El Fasher. (OCHA)

15 May

The UN World Food Programme is issuing a stark warning about the impending famine in Sudan, especially in conflict-affected regions like northern Darfur. With critical transport routes soon to be inaccessible due to the rainy season and the lean season exacerbating food shortages, the situation is becoming increasingly dire.

WFP’s Deputy Executive Director, Carl Skau, emphasizes the urgent need for all parties to facilitate access so that assistance can reach the 2.5 million people in need. (WFP)

15 May

Sudan Emergency Response Update of UNHCR Egypt highlights a high number of new arrivals from Sudan, constituting 94% of all registrations. Among them, 6,000 refugees and asylum-seekers were newly registered, and 8,800 individuals received registration appointments.

In Aswan, UNHCR initiated a digital payment card distribution program, providing cash support to vulnerable refugees, particularly those without valid passports, through a partnership with Fawry, a local digital payments provider. (UNHCR)

15 May

According to the new Sudan Humanitarian Update since April 2023, over 8.8 million people have been displaced from their homes in Sudan. Food, healthcare, water, and sanitation are the most pressing needs for internally displaced persons, especially in regions like Darfur and Kordofan.

The escalating levels of hunger and severe acute malnutrition are expected to lead to a rise in hunger-related deaths in the coming months. Additionally, the country has witnessed over 15,550 reported fatalities and more than 1,400 violent incidents targeting civilians since the onset of the conflict. (OCHA)

15 May

Displacement Tracking Matrix Sudan noted a rise in localized displacement caused by multiple fire outbreaks between April 29 and May 7, 2024. Seven incidents were reported across Sudan, resulting in the displacement of around 1,900 individuals and damaging approximately 355 houses. These occurrences are typical during the hotter and drier months between April and July, especially in western Sudan. (IOM)

13 May

The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Sudan, Ramtane Lamamra, urged the Rapid Support Forces and Sudanese authorities to avoid conflict in El Fasher, emphasizing the potential dire consequences for civilians. Following his involvement in the Paris conference, Lamamra engaged in discussions with the African Union and regional leaders in Chad, Ethiopia, and Eritrea to chart a path forward. 

In the Central African Republic, over 30,000 forcibly displaced individuals from Sudan have sought refuge since April 2023, with efforts including biometric registration of Sudanese refugees residing mainly in remote areas. (UNHCR)

12 May

Renewed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces in Al Fasher, North Darfur, has resulted in at least 27 civilian deaths and around 130 injuries. Al Fasher South Hospital, the state’s only operational hospital, is struggling with insufficient medical supplies.

The violence has caused significant displacement to the town’s southern areas and severely restricted humanitarian access, disrupting aid and supply routes since December 2023, and pushing the population toward famine. (OCHA)

11 May

Sudan’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, expresses deep concern over clashes in Al Fasher despite calls for restraint from the conflicting parties. The violence jeopardizes the lives of 800,000 civilians in the city, with reports of heavy weaponry use in densely populated areas causing multiple casualties. Nkweta-Salami urges all parties to abide by international law, protect civilians, and cease hostilities to prevent further tragedy. (UNOCHA)

8 May

On May 8, 2024, a polio vaccination campaign began in Sudan’s Red Sea State after poliovirus was detected in sewage earlier this year. Vaccinators aim to immunize all children under five within four days.

Since the conflict began in April 2023, health services have been disrupted, leaving many children unvaccinated and at risk of diseases like polio. In response to the outbreak, the Federal Ministry of Health, with WHO and UNICEF support, deployed experts to target high-risk areas across Sudan. (UNICEF)

8 May

WHO Sudan recently provided crucial medical equipment, including advanced incinerators, to the Federal Ministry of Health, courtesy of a $3 million donation from the European Union. This donation aims to improve healthcare quality and infection control across six states in Sudan, benefiting regions heavily impacted by the conflict.

Dr. Shible Sahbani, WHO Representative to Sudan, expressed gratitude for the EU’s support, highlighting the importance of these incinerators in safeguarding healthcare workers, patients, and the environment from biohazardous waste. (WHO)

7 May

Intercommunal tensions have escalated in Sudan, notably in Abyei, with clashes over cattle rustling resulting in fatalities among the Misseriya and Nuer communities. UNISFA has convened a meeting with Misseriya, Nuer, and Ngok Dinka representatives to promote a peaceful resolution, stressing the importance of political support for dialogue.

Meanwhile, Hanna Tetteh, the UN’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, echoed concerns about Sudan’s crisis affecting South Sudan, noting that the influx of over 630,000 refugees and returnees has strained access to vital services due to years of conflict and environmental challenges. (UN News)

3 May

For the first time since the conflict began over a year ago, a joint UNHCR team, along with Sudan’s Commissioner for Refugees and the national aid agency JASMAR for Human Security, accessed Omdurman in Khartoum State, witnessing extensive war-related destruction and urgent humanitarian needs.

During the two-day visit, which included discussions with local authorities and affected individuals, UNHCR assessed the needs and protection risks of the population, including over 12,000 refugees and more than 54,000 internally displaced persons. (UNHCR)

3 May

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, strongly condemns the killing of two International Committee of the Red Cross drivers in South Darfur, Sudan, emphasizing that attacks on aid workers are unacceptable.

Griffiths stressed the importance of protecting humanitarian personnel, affirming that those who dedicate themselves to assisting others should be protected from harm. (OCHA)

2 May

UN News’s Abdelmonem Makki interviewed Toby Harward, the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, who recently returned from El Fasher and described the dire situation in North Darfur’s capital. Harward stressed a significant deterioration in security, and that the siege around El Fasher has disrupted aid convoys and commerce, leading to soaring prices of essential goods and putting many at risk of hunger and disease.

He highlighted the significance of El Fasher, which is home to 1.5 million people, including 800,000 internally displaced persons, and faces potential devastation if fighting escalates, threatening civilians from all Darfur communities. (UN News)

1 May

The new Regional Sudan Crisis Response underscores that since April 15, 2023, there have been 8.7 million displaced persons within and outside Sudan, with 6.7 million recently displaced internally in Sudan. Additionally, 2 million individuals have crossed into neighbouring countries.

IOM has reached 2.3 million people in Sudan and neighbouring countries, providing critical humanitarian assistance. Notably, IOM facilitated the voluntary return of 15 Ethiopian nationals from Gedaref to Gondar, coordinating humanitarian movements to ensure their safe journey. (IOM)

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