The UN and the crisis in Sudan

8.1 million
displaced by conflict since 15 April 2023
reportedly killed
24.8 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

15 April

Every day, an alarming 20,000 individuals, half of whom are children, are forced to flee their homes in Sudan, as revealed by the latest report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

IOM Director General Amy Pope, attending the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbours in Paris, emphasizes the urgent need for international intervention to address Sudan’s escalating humanitarian crisis and calls for concerted efforts to deliver aid and advocate for peace. (IOM)

14 April

An entire generation of children in Sudan faces a catastrophe as the war enters its second year, with 8.9 million children facing acute food insecurity, including 4.9 million at emergency levels. Additionally, nearly 4 million children under five are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition, exacerbating Sudan’s education crisis, where over 90% of school-age children lack access to formal education, posing a generational threat. 

UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, Ted Chaiban, emphasizes the urgent need for humanitarian access to conflict-affected areas to avert a catastrophic loss of children’s lives, urging all parties to prioritize humanitarian aid delivery without politicizing assistance. (UNICEF)

13 April

In Sudan, the conflict has transformed agricultural areas into battlegrounds, leaving farms deserted and businesses abandoned, exacerbating cash shortages and communication disruptions. As food prices soar, Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad face the threat of starvation, with millions at risk due to destroyed agriculture and crumbling economies. 

With the lean season approaching, Sudan’s already dire situation is worsening, as diminished crop yields and economic instability compound the challenges of providing sufficient food supplies, amplifying the risk of famine and deepening the humanitarian crisis. (WFP)

12 April

Justin Brady, head of OCHA in Sudan, cautioned that without additional resources, the humanitarian situation will deteriorate further, risking famine and hindering assistance efforts. “Most of the rations that people receive from the likes of the World Food Programme (WFP) are cut in half already, so we can’t strip more off the bone to try and make this operation work.”

He warned that despite the severity of the crisis, the funding for the 2024 response plan is only six per cent of the required $2.7 billion, underscoring the urgent need for increased support. (UN News)

12 April

Sudan’s healthcare system is severely strained, with 80% of hospitals in conflict zones shut down due to shortages and displacement of staff. The remaining operational facilities are overwhelmed by patients, causing a crisis in healthcare delivery.

UNFPA responded by deploying 33 mobile units and establishing 64 safe spaces to provide essential maternal health services and support for survivors of gender-based violence in remote areas. This effort aims to reach those most in need and address the critical gaps in healthcare access exacerbated by the conflict. (UNFPA)

12 April

A year into Sudan’s conflict, sexual and other violence are widespread in conflict zones and along asylum routes while UNHCR’s response is hindered due to insufficient funding. Women and girls, comprising over half of Sudan’s registered refugees, face heightened risks of sexual violence, with reports indicating alarming levels of abuse both within Sudan and during migration. 

UNHCR’s report on gender-based violence during the crisis highlights the dire situation, revealing pervasive instances of harassment, abduction, rape, and exploitation experienced by asylum seekers. (UNHCR)

12 April

A new report released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) emphasizes the critical need for immediate action to address the severe food insecurity crisis in Sudan. Based on a comprehensive survey of 4,504 rural households the report underscores the urgent requirement for extensive interventions to enhance food aid, revive agricultural systems, and restore supply chains. 

UNDP Resident Representative, Thair Shraideh, stressed the importance of understanding the conflict’s impact on livelihoods to guide targeted interventions and policy reforms and planned to launch complementary surveys that would focus on urban households and on micro, small and medium enterprises. (UNDP)

11 April

The UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan urges an immediate cease-fire, access to aid, and protection for civilians as the conflict enters its second year. Chair Mohamed Chande Othman emphasizes the need for all parties to halt violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, and calls for accountability for human rights violations. 

The Mission is investigating reports of attacks on civilians and infrastructure, signalling potential violations of international humanitarian law. (OHCHR)

10 April

Shaza Bala Elmahdi, Sudan Country Director for CIPE, highlighted women’s training in negotiations and mediations over the past two decades due to recurring crises, despite facing disproportionate violence and displacement during the ongoing civil war. However, women remain underrepresented in peace talks and humanitarian negotiations, with a recent attempt to add a quota for women falling short at just 30 per cent representation. 

Hanin Ahmed, an activist from Omdurman, emphasized women’s exclusion from humanitarian negotiations, while UN Women collaborates with local organizations to provide emergency assistance, yet struggles to keep up with the escalating need. (UN Women)

10 April

In Kassala State, the Sudanese Organization for Research and Development (SORD) and in Port Sudan, the Women Awareness Organization (AWOON) have partnered with UN Women to support internally displaced persons in Sudan, with a focus on vulnerable women affected by sexual and gender-based violence. 

SORD’s efforts include caring for pregnant women and girls, many of whom have been impregnated due to sexual abuse during the conflict. AWOON, with the assistance of UN Women, provides psychological support and medical assistance to survivors of gender-based violence, and together they have established Women Situation Rooms to offer various humanitarian services. (UN Women)

9 April

A year into the conflict, Sudan faces one of the most severe humanitarian crises, with over 8.5 million displaced and 1.8 million seeking refuge across borders. Civilians endure ongoing violence, including gender-based attacks, violating international law and shattering communities. 

Despite urgent needs, funding remains alarmingly low, hindering vital aid delivery and leaving many without basic necessities. The international community must increase support to ensure dignity and safety for those affected by the conflict. (UNHCR)

5 April

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently delivered vital food and nutrition aid to Darfur, marking the first assistance to reach the region in months. In late March, two convoys from Chad brought essential support to approximately 250,000 people facing acute hunger in North, West, and Central Darfur, following negotiations to reopen routes closed in February.

Despite this progress, the WFP emphasizes the critical need for continuous aid through various humanitarian corridors to mitigate Sudan’s worsening hunger crisis. (WFP)

4 April

On 26 March, Lawrence Korbandy of South Sudan was appointed as the special envoy for Sudan by IGAD, with the aim of facilitating negotiations between SAF and RSF. Simultaneously, the US, represented by Special Envoy Tom Perriello, announced efforts to resume peace talks in Sudan by April 18, recognizing the urgency of addressing the conflict’s dire humanitarian consequences. 

Additionally, South Sudan and the UAE reiterated their commitment to resolving the conflict in Sudan. Sudan’s Deputy Foreign Minister suggested that peace talks could resume after Ramadan, based on diplomatic reports from the AU and IGAD. Meanwhile, over 25 organizations urged Egypt to halt the mistreatment of Sudanese refugees. (IOM)

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