The European Union responds to a wide range of emergencies in Sudan, from conflict and population displacements to severe food insecurity and malnutrition. As the economic crisis – which has caused price inflation – continues, many vulnerable families are struggling to access food and essential services. Since 2011, the EU has provided €445 million for humanitarian partners working in Sudan.
Sudan is the scene of both protracted and new humanitarian crises.
Fifteen years since the start of the Darfur crisis, 1.6 million people continue to live in camps in the region, while conflict also affects South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. At least 20 000 Sudanese were newly displaced in 2018. More than 195 000 refugees, 65% of them children, arrived from war-torn South Sudan in 2017. This brings the total number of refugees in the country to over 900 000, one of the highest in Africa. The majority of uprooted people and refugees rely on humanitarian aid for their survival and hundreds of thousands of children, especially in conflict-affected areas, continue to be out of school.
Drought and floods regularly affect large areas of the country, displacing thousands and destroying crops. Malnutrition rates in Sudan are among the highest in Africa. One in six children suffers from malnutrition, one in 20 children suffers from the most severe form of malnutrition, which is life-threatening and requires urgent treatment.
Since 2011, the EU has provided €445 million for life-saving assistance to people affected by conflict, natural disasters, food insecurity and malnutrition, this sum includes €23 million committed in 2018. 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 which aims to reach the most-affected and vulnerable populations. The EU supports the provision of healthcare and nutrition treatment, water and sanitation, shelter, protection, emergency education, and food security.
EU humanitarian aid addresses the needs of conflict-affected people, with a focus on new emergencies. Among them is the mass refugee influx from South Sudan, and the high malnutrition levels in Jebel Marra, an area in the Darfur region where renewed conflict has occurred since early 2018 and accessible to humanitarian workers only recently.
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 healthcare, safe water and sanitation facilities. In 2017, €1 million in humanitarian aid enabled 15 000 children to go to school. Half of the pupils were girls affected by conflict in Darfur and Kordofan,
Food assistance and nutrition account for the bulk of EU humanitarian aid in Sudan. In 2017, humanitarian partners succeeded in helping more than 220 000 children with severe malnutrition through specialised treatment and care. This included children in previously inaccessible communities of Jebel Marra. The EU contributes to the countrywide expansion of nutrition treatment and care.
The European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations are run from offices in the capital Khartoum and in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. EU humanitarian experts travel regularly to the field to assess the multitude of needs. They also identify the gaps in the response and monitor projects carried out by their partners (international non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement).