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

20 March

In a briefing to the Security Council, Edem Wosornu, speaking on behalf of Martin Griffiths, warned of a severe and rapidly worsening food insecurity crisis in Sudan after 11 months of intense conflict. 

He highlighted widespread violence, attacks on civilians, and the destruction of critical infrastructure, leading to acute food shortages, malnutrition, and internal displacement, urging immediate action to prevent famine and address the escalating humanitarian disaster. (UN OCHA)

19 March

Between 2 and 17 January 2024, FAO, in collaboration with the Sudanese government, conducted its annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) to evaluate 2023 crop production and food supply across the country, recommending immediate aid for the most affected regions and support for agricultural recovery.

The report indicates a significant decline in cereal production in 2023 due to conflict-related challenges, including insecurity affecting agricultural operations, limited availability and high costs of inputs, erratic rainfall patterns, and trade disruptions. (FAO)

18 March

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) warned that after a year of conflict in Sudan, 24 million children face an imminent catastrophe, with their fundamental rights being violated. The committee called for an immediate cessation of violations and the cessation of child recruitment into the armed forces, highlighting widespread attacks on civilians, including children, and other grave violations of international law. (UN Human Rights)

15 March

Last week, the UNICEF team was led to Omdurman, Khartoum, the first mission since the conflict began in April 2023, aiming to assess conditions for children and observe UNICEF-supported initiatives. The team witnessed dire conditions in hospitals, including overcrowding, exhausted staff, and limited resources, highlighting urgent needs in the region, such as electricity and medical supplies. (UNICEF)

15 March

MSF warns of a hepatitis E outbreak in eastern Chad’s refugee camps housing over 550,000 Sudanese, worsened by poor sanitation and water scarcity. Hepatitis E, transmitted through contaminated water, poses a significant risk, especially to vulnerable groups like pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses. (MSF)

15 March

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths warns that Sudan faces almost a year of continuous warfare, despite recent calls for a ceasefire during Ramadan. UNICEF representative Mandeep O’Brien stresses the urgent need for humanitarian access and increased funding to address the dire situation, with 14 million children requiring aid, many facing hunger, malnutrition, and displacement. (Source)

13 March

Save the Children warns that without immediate funding, nearly 230,000 vulnerable individuals in Sudan, including children and pregnant women, could succumb to hunger-related causes. Over 2.9 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, with 729,000 facing severe acute malnutrition, demanding urgent medical attention to prevent complications like dehydration and hypoglycemia. (Source)

11 March

In response to the emergence of variant poliovirus type 2 detected in Port Sudan, Sudan’s Ministry of Health, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), is set to launch a polio vaccination campaign in April 2024. Field investigations and a risk assessment have been conducted to determine the virus’s extent, and preparations are underway for the campaign in several states, with a tailored approach based on local conditions. (Source)

8 March

The UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell, warns that Sudan’s brutal war is pushing the country toward famine, causing the world’s largest child displacement crisis, with escalating severe malnutrition and outbreaks of diseases. She called for urgent action that is needed to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, requiring $240 million for UNICEF’s famine prevention response by the end of March. (Source)

6 March

United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain warns that Sudan’s war could escalate into the world’s largest hunger crisis, urging an end to the conflict as over 25 million people in Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad face deteriorating food security. 

WFP faces challenges delivering emergency food assistance to communities in inaccessible areas due to ongoing violence and interference by warring parties, with 90% of those in Sudan facing emergency hunger levels located in such zones. (Source)

4 March

Addressing the 37th session of the FAO Regional Ministerial Conference for the Near East and North Africa, the Director-General of FAO, QU Dongyu, expressed great concern about the situations in Gaza, along with prolonged crises in Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. (Source)

1 March 

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, expresses increasing concern about a potential surge in refugees crossing from Darfur to Chad in the coming weeks due to a critical lack of food and essentials. 

With almost a year since the start of the civil war in Sudan, Chad urgently requires additional humanitarian aid and substantial development investment to stabilize its socio-economic environment, particularly in Eastern refugee-hosting regions, to sustain its open-door policy towards refugees amid the ongoing crisis.

29 February

The UN Secretary-General expressed deep appreciation for all personnel of the UN Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and emphasized that the UN remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance despite ongoing heavy fighting and a worsening humanitarian crisis. Calling on Sudan’s warring parties to cease hostilities, Mr Guterres urged a commitment to broad-based peace talks and the transition to a civilian-led democratic government.

28 February

A wheat shipment donated by Ukraine to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) for Sudan has arrived in Port Sudan, with the in-kind donation covering a core part of food rations for one million conflict-affected people for a month. 

Part of Ukraine’s ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative, facilitated by the German Federal Foreign Office, the 7,600 tonnes of wheat will assist families grappling with food insecurity amid Sudan’s prolonged conflict, arriving at a crucial time ahead of the lean season in May. Eddie Rowe, WFP’s Country Director in Sudan, emphasizes the urgent need to address the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Sudan.

26 February

Expressing deep concern, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, voiced alarm over reported attacks on volunteers, including Emergency Response Rooms, emphasizing the need for local responders to conduct critical humanitarian work safely. Ms. Nkweta-Salami stressed that civilians, including humanitarian workers, should not be targeted.

23 February

A comprehensive report from the UN Human Rights Office reveals that the armed conflict in Sudan has resulted in widespread civilian casualties, millions displaced, looting of property, and the conscription of children. The document outlines indiscriminate attacks by both the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in densely populated areas, including sites for internally displaced people in Khartoum, Kordorfan, and Darfur, spanning April to December 2023. 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk emphasizes the ongoing senseless conflict and human rights violations, expressing deep concern over the persisting crisis in Sudan.

Related posts

Sudan: one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises

The crisis in Sudan is multifaceted, encompassing armed conflict, mass displacement, healthcare challenges, food insecurity, and an education crisis.

Background: Sudan crisis

What is the background of the conflict?  Sudan, a Northeast African country with a population of almost 46...

Gaza, Sudan, Ukraine: children in armed conflict

World Children’s Day, marked on 20th November, is a moment to reflect on the very heavy toll...

More country pages


The UN and the crisis in Gaza: What you need to know

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS 6 - 12 May On Friday, 10 May, the UN General Assembly convened again in New York...

The UN and the war in Ukraine: key information

News on Ukraine in your language French Portuguese German   Quick Navigation: Main facts | Humanitarian Appeal | Protection of civilians ...


The Week Ahead: UN in Brussels (past events)

Past event from the 'Week Ahead at the United Nations in Brussels/Belgium'. For upcoming events, visit the main...

World Migratory Bird Day 2024: Protect Insects to Protect Birds

For the first time, the upcoming World Migratory Bird Day campaign in 2024 will focus on insects’...

Sustainability Award for Climate Tower on UN Bonn Campus

The Climate Tower on the UN Bonn Campus, completed in 2022, has achieved the “Gold Standard” in...