| 1 December 2023, Friday |

UN appeal seeks to raise $3 billion for Sudan

The United Nations and its partners on Wednesday called for a record $3 billion aid to help millions of people in Sudan, where the conflict between the national army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is now in its second month.

As the death toll mounts, humanitarian needs soar, and displacement grows, the UN is launching two response plans to provide food, health care, shelter, protection, and other critical assistance.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan has been revised due to the soaring needs spurred by the current crisis. It now requires $2.56 billion, an increase of $800 million from just a few months ago, to help 18 million people until the end of this year, making it the largest appeal ever issued for Sudan.

The Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan seeks $470.4 million to support refugees, returnees, and host communities in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The funds are intended to help over 1 million people.

“This conflict is a cruel blow for the people of Sudan, already staggering under the weight of a desperate humanitarian situation. The desire, willingness, and impatience of humanitarian agencies to deliver remain as strong as ever,” said Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths.

He added that the signing of the Declaration of Commitment last week in Jeddah “was a welcome first step towards protecting civilians and delivering aid safely. But now we need the generosity of the international community to scale up our response and reach all those in need.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said: “More than a month into this crisis, countless people remain terrified inside Sudan, and those who have fled across the country’s many borders are in need of help, often finding themselves in places where access is extremely hard, and resources strained.”

“Humanitarians are working hard to respond but we need – once again – to call on countries and individuals with the means, to step up and provide the resources so we can help people who have lost everything.”

The most recent fighting has already displaced more than 840,000 people inside Sudan. Over 220,000 refugees and refugee returnees have fled the country, with many Sudanese escaping to Chad and Egypt, and South Sudanese refugees returning home in adverse conditions. Without an urgent resolution, many more will be forced to flee in search of safety and basic assistance.

The revised Humanitarian Response Plan will focus on swiftly ramping up food and water and sanitation and other lifesaving assistance. It will also increase its focus on protection, including the protection of children and the prevention of gender-based violence.

The Plan, bringing together 92 partners, envisions the expansion of operations in areas where fighting is fierce, such as the capital, Khartoum, as well as locations to which many people have fled to escape violence, including West, South and North Darfur.

Implementing the scale-up will require humanitarian agencies to have safe access to reach those in need.

The Refugee Response Plan will help host countries to coordinate the response with a “whole-of-society” approach in support of host governments and communities.

The UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, told correspondents at the regular briefing in New York that the World Health Organization (WHO) had managed to deliver 30 tons of medical supplies to Al-Jazirah state, while trauma supplies to treat 2,400 people were delivered Wednesday to five hospitals there, and three hospitals in the capital, Khartoum.

“WHO also supports the delivery of critical items to its partners and has additional supplies in the pipeline,” he said.

Meanwhile, aid organizations have managed to resume operations in parts of Darfur, he confirmed.

“For example, in North Darfur, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has helped deliver some 235,000 liters of clean water to eight healthcare facilities and one nutrition center. UNICEF is also distributing water, sanitation, and health supplies for nearly 15,700 patients at more than a dozen healthcare facilities”, the Spokesperson said.

And in Eastern Darfur, UNICEF has provided clean water to some 40,000 people in the Elneem camp for internally displaced people.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat