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04.05.2023 | Blog

Fighting in Sudan: The humanitarian crisis intensifies

Heavy fighting in Sudan is worsening the already precarious humanitarian situation for many people in the country, reports Michael Gabriel, Country Director for Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in Sudan.

Für eine Lebensmittelverteilung werden Pakete zusammengestellt, Sudan, 2021
The refugees in Sudan need support as soon as possible. The picture shows a food distribution to people in need in the Darfur region in 2021. © Welthungerhilfe
Michael Gabriel Welthungerhilfe

On April 15, 2023, fighting broke out in Sudan between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary force RSF (Rapid Support Forces). This conflict has worsened the situation for many people in the country. Michael Gabriel, WHH's Country Director in Sudan, reports, "Because of the fighting in Darfur, Khartoum and several other areas, local markets are closed, blocking access to food and water for broad segments of the population."

The fighting has disrupted humanitarian aid programs. Consequently, the threats of hunger, malnutrition, and disease will increase.

Michael Gabriel Country Director for WHH in Sudan

Many have been staying in their homes with few supplies since the outbreak. In some places, there is neither electricity nor Internet. Daytime temperatures hit 45° Celsius (113° Fahrenheit), making the situation even more precarious. Thousands of civilians are fleeing the fighting areas and seeking shelter in other regions.

Millions of people depend on humanitarian aid

Even before the fighting began, more than 15 million people in Sudan depended on humanitarian aid. In the Global Hunger Index, Sudan ranks 106th out of 121 countries surveyed for 2022. In concrete terms, this means that 9.6 million people cannot feed themselves adequately; 38.2% of all children under five are chronically malnourished.

"The fighting has disrupted humanitarian aid programs. Consequently, the threats of hunger, malnutrition, and disease will increase.," says Michael Gabriel. WHH also had to pause its work temporarily. "Due to the intensity of the conflict, the situation is currently perilous, and we are greatly concerned for the lives of our staff*. However, in the coming days, we will make a fresh assessment of the situation in Eastern Sudan so that we can possibly resume our work there."

WHH has been working in Sudan since 1998. Last year, we supported around 2.6 million people to improve their living conditions sustainably. We will not abandon the people in Sudan and will resume our work as soon as the security situation allows again.

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