The United Nations humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, has called on the international community to act faster in order to scale up humanitarian support for Sudan.
The humanitarian situation is deteriorating for millions of people, particularly in the central and eastern regions, as the country strives to address the effects of erratic weather, multiple disease outbreaks and economic crisis.
“It is a crucial time for Sudan and we must make sure that people have their most basic needs met. The international community needs urgently to step up its support,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said at the end of a two-day mission to Sudan; His first visit to the country since the formation of a transitional government in August 2019.
While conflict is still a major driver of humanitarian needs in Sudan, incidents have significantly reduced in recent years.
The deepening economic crisis, the climate crisis and pockets of violence also continue to drive humanitarian needs.
More than 8.5 million people require food, nutrition, protection or other forms of assistance to survive whilst millions of others struggle to make ends meet.
These numbers are projected to grow. Years of conflict have left nearly two million people displaced in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile areas of Sudan.
During a visit to Kassala in eastern Sudan, the Emergency Relief Coordinator met local communities who have been affected by the recent economic and climate shocks as well as recurrent disease outbreaks.
“The economic crisis has a very direct impact on ordinary people’s lives, particularly for women and girls. They live in an area with ongoing dengue and malaria outbreaks yet cannot afford to pay for medicines. [The] recurrent droughts and floods means that they cannot grow enough food,” he said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Monday, 25 November 2019.
In Kassala State, over 400 000 people are in crisis levels of food insecurity and only 13 percent of the rural communities has access to safe water.
Communicable disease outbreaks are proliferating at the same time as the economic situation hampers the Government’s capacity to respond. There are acute shortages of basic medicines and health services across the country.