European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Sudan by Anouk Delafortrie
© EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

The European Union responds to a wide range of emergencies in Sudan, from conflict and population displacements to severe food insecurity and malnutrition. A deep economic crisis, fuel shortages and price increases all have an adverse effect on the lives of millions of vulnerable people and aid delivery. Humanitarians continue to work in a restrictive environment which prevents them from reaching all people in need in a timely manner. Since 2011, the EU has mobilised €445 million for its humanitarian partners in Sudan.

What are the needs?

Sudan faces both protracted and new humanitarian crises. Fifteen years since the start of the Darfur crisis, 2.8 million people this region alone continue to be uprooted while conflict also affects South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

According to Unicef, more than 195 000 South Sudanese refugees, 65% of them children, have arrived in 2017 and tens of thousands more are expected to arrive in 2018. Many of the internally displaced people, together with the host communities and refugees, rely on humanitarian assistance to access essential services such as health care and water. There is a need to build their resilience in the longer term. Hundreds of thousands of children, especially in conflict-affected areas, continue to be out of school.

Acute malnutrition rates in Sudan are among the highest in Africa. One in six children suffers from acute malnutrition, 1 in 20 from its most severe form which leads to death unless treated.

Map Sudan
How are we helping?

Since 2011, the EU has provided €445 million for life-saving assistance to people affected by conflict, natural disasters, food insecurity and malnutrition, including €46 million in 2017. The EU acts on all fronts, assisting thousands of forcibly displaced people and refugees while also supporting the fight against malnutrition and addressing the impact of natural disasters such as floods and droughts.

In close collaboration with its humanitarian partners, the EU supports a principled and needs-based approach in Sudan aimed at reaching the most affected and vulnerable populations in a complex and restrictive environment. Support is provided in the fields of health and nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter, protection, emergency education, food security, and livelihoods.

EU humanitarian aid addresses the needs of conflict-affected people, with a focus on new emergencies. Two such emergencies are the mass refugee influx from South Sudan, and the high levels of malnutrition that were prevalent in Jebel Marra, an area only recently accessible to humanitarians but where renewed fighting has occurred since the beginning of 2018. With thousands of new arrivals from South Sudan each month, EU humanitarian funds help to organise the reception of the new refugees, ensure that they receive shelter and essential household goods, and are able to access basic services such as health care, safe water and sanitation facilities. In 2017, €1 million in humanitarian aid enabled 15 000 children, 50% of whom are girls affected by conflict in Darfur and Kordofan, to go to school.

Food assistance and nutrition account for the bulk of the EU humanitarian aid funding in Sudan. In 2017, humanitarian partners succeeded in helping more than 220 000 children with severe acute malnutrition (91% of the target) with treatment and care, this included children in many previously inaccessible communities in Jebel Marra. The EU contributes to a countrywide expansion of nutrition treatment and care.

The European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department has offices in the capital Khartoum and in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. EU humanitarian staff assess the needs. At the same time, they identify gaps in the response and monitor projects carried out by their partners which consist of international non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

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