Sudan’s humanitarian crisis has reached a critical point as the United Nations struggles to assist millions amid a funding shortfall, said Clementine Nkweta-Salami, the UN’s humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan.
Despite the dire situation affecting nearly 25 million people in need, the aid provided only reaches a fraction of that number, around four million. Nkweta-Salami warned that if the ongoing lack of funding persists, even this limited assistance could soon halt.
The conflict that erupted eight months ago between rival generals, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has led to catastrophic consequences. This internal conflict, resulting from a power struggle between former allies turned adversaries, has claimed more than 12,190 lives, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). However, this figure is considered conservative due to the inaccessibility of many areas affected by the conflict.
Sudan’s displacement crisis is also staggering, with an estimated seven million people displaced, making it the largest displacement crisis globally, according to Nkweta-Salami.
Despite the enormity of the crisis, humanitarian efforts are severely underfunded. Out of the required $2.6 billion for 2023, only 38.6 percent has been received so far. The ongoing shortage of resources threatens the UN’s ability to provide essential assistance to those in desperate need.
The situation in Sudan, which has been overshadowed by other conflicts like the Israel-Hamas war, has witnessed the departure of numerous aid organizations as a result of the ongoing conflict. Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, expressed deep concern over the lack of attention and resources being directed to Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. He emphasized that millions in Sudan are enduring immense suffering amid ethnic violence and bombardments, while critical aid is insufficient or absent.
According to UN representatives, the challenge remains daunting, as roughly 24.7 million Sudanese urgently require humanitarian assistance, encompassing critical needs such as healthcare, water, sanitation, food, and combating malnutrition. However, only around four million have been reached so far, highlighting the immense gap in providing aid to affected populations.
Recent developments include the UN’s limited access into parts of Darfur through Chad, a region where concerns of genocide have been raised. Additionally, Sudan’s foreign ministry declared 15 diplomats from the United Arab Emirates persona non grata, accusing them of supporting certain militia groups, stirring further tensions within the region.