The European Union responds to a wide range of emergencies in Sudan, from conflict and population displacements to malnutrition and natural disasters. Some of the humanitarian needs are long-standing, others are new. The overall humanitarian situation suffered a setback due to the country’s economic crisis that is affecting the whole population and that is expected to give rise to further humanitarian needs in 2019. Since 2011, the EU has provided over €463 million to humanitarian organisations responding to the various crises in the country.
Sixteen years since the Darfur crisis broke out, 1.6 million people in this region still live in camps. Internal conflict continues in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. At least 26 000 Sudanese had to flee their homes in 2018 and refugees continued to arrive from war-torn South Sudan.
In 2018, an estimated 5.5 million people in Sudan were in need of humanitarian assistance. However, these estimates do not reflect the impact of the economic crisis. The rise in humanitarian needs is expected to continue in 2019. Instability and conflict in neighbouring countries leave their mark on Sudan. With more than 1 million refugees, Sudan hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa. The majority of refugees come from South Sudan, where conflict erupted in December 2013.
Malnutrition rates in Sudan are among the highest in Africa. One in six children suffers from acute malnutrition, the most serious and life-threating form of undernourishment in children that requires treatment. Sudan has severe levels of critical food shortages. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of children, especially in conflict-afflicted areas, also continue to be out of school. Drought and floods regularly hit large swathes of the country, displacing people and destroying crops.
Since 2011, the EU has allocated over €463 million in life-saving assistance to people in Sudan affected by conflict, natural disasters, food insecurity and malnutrition. This amount includes the €41 million committed in 2018.
In close cooperation with its humanitarian partners, the EU supports a principled and needs-based approach in Sudan aimed at reaching the most vulnerable and suffering people. The EU’s humanitarian aid provides them with health and nutritional care, food assistance, water and sanitation, shelter, protection, and education.
The bulk of the EU’s humanitarian relief in Sudan goes to food assistance and nutrition, supporting the most vulnerable households that have reduced accessibility to basic food products and services. The EU contributes by getting nutrition treatment and care to as many people as possible in Sudan. In 2018, the EU’s humanitarian partners succeeded in treating more than 215 000 children suffering from severe malnutrition.
Humanitarian aid funded by the EU also supports the set-up of reception facilities for new refugees, ensuring that they receive shelter and essential household items, and that they get access to basic services, such as healthcare, safe water and sanitation facilities. In 2017, funding of €1 million enabled 15 000 children – half of them girls - affected by the conflict in Darfur and Kordofan to go to school.
The European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations in Sudan are run from offices in the capital, Khartoum, and in Nyala, the capital of the South Darfur state. Humanitarian experts from the EU travel regularly to the country to assess the multitude of needs. They also identify where gaps lie in the response and monitor EU-funded humanitarian projects carried out by the EU’s partners (international non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement).