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Sudan Humanitarian Crisis

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On July 25, 2023, Sudan marked 100 days since the latest conflict broke out on April 15, 2023, exacerbating the existing humanitarian crisis.

Since then, nearly 750,000 people have fled the country and refugees and citizens within the country have been forced to relocate, causing massive internal displacement. There have also been thousands of civilian deaths, sexual violence is increasing, and there are critical health and hunger crises and much more. One in two people are dependent upon aid. Those who haven’t left are suffering through power outages and lack water and food.

Sudan’s complex humanitarian crisis is rooted in decades of internal conflict, political instability, extreme weather events and poor economic conditions that have contributed to widespread food insecurity, malnutrition and a lack of basic services, especially health services. While these issues have resulted in millions of internally displaced Sudanese, Sudan also hosts refugees from South Sudan and Ethiopia. Some of these refugees have left, while others have been forced to relocate internally.

On April 15, fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as “Hemedti”). Although they united in an October 2021 coup to seize power and have worked together against the pro-democracy movement since then, “Their tenuous alliance ended in mid-April, when they turned their guns on each other, sparking a conflict that threatens to engulf Africa’s third largest country.”

RSF’s origins are rooted in the Janjaweed militia that carried out ethnic cleansing in Darfur. The RSF seems to be hiding in urban areas, so much of the conflict is happening in densely populated areas and is impacting civilians.

There have been 12 ceasefire events of various lengths, ranging from three hours to seven days. The latest was June 27 to June 28 for Eid al-Ahda.

Since April 15, approximately 1 million people have been displaced internally within Sudan, and there has been mixed cross-border movement with neighboring countries, including Egypt, Chad and Ethiopia of almost 1 million more.

As of mid-July, there have been at least 1,000 political violence events and more than 3,900 fatalities according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). These numbers include military deaths. From June 17 to July 14, the ACLED recorded 880 reported fatalities, more than 500 fatalities in Khartoum alone. There were 320 political violence events of which nearly 80 during that period targeted civilians. The two sides have both started using fighter drones.

According to the Sudanese Health Ministry, there were 1,136 people killed as of July 7. However, numbers collected by activists in Khartoum show a death toll that is much higher than Health Ministry numbers reported for that city (580 versus 234). The lack of medical facilities has hindered accurate tracking, as official sources generally use hospital death data.

(Photo: People fleeing violence in Sudan. Credit: USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Lead via Twitter)

Located in northeast Africa, Sudan lies at the intersection of the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. It borders the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan. Sudan has faced numerous historic issues that have left a legacy in the country. The issues stem from exploitation after it was colonized by Britain and Egypt in the late 19th century. During this period, Sudanese people were subjected to various forms of exploitation, including forced labor, land confiscation and cultural suppression.

Over the past few decades, Sudan has been plagued by multiple civil wars. The First Sudanese Civil War was from 1955-1972, and about half a million people were killed. Despite a peace agreement in 1972, tensions continued. The Second Sudanese Civil War (and the longest of these conflicts) was fought from 1983 to 2005 between the government and the southern rebels, who were fighting for greater autonomy and control over resources. This conflict lasted for more than 20 years and resulted in the deaths of an estimated two million people. The war also led to the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

In 2003, the Darfur genocide began when government-backed militias targeted non-Arab civilians in the Darfur region. This conflict resulted in the displacement of millions of people and the deaths of hundreds of thousands. While the conflict was technically resolved with a peace deal in 2020, violence in the area continues today.

Colonel Omar al-Bashir, who carried out a military coup in 1989 and appointed himself president in 1993, was ousted by the army in 2019.  From 2019-2021, “a deal to negotiate power-sharing between the transitional government and the civilians who led the protests against Bashir” was in progress. The goal was to help transition Sudan to a democratic government, but this was interrupted by another coup in October 2021.

Since the coup in October 2021, when Sudan’s military, led by General al-Burhan (and supported by General Daglo), seized power from the transitional government, there has been significant political instability in the country. Additionally, a socioeconomic crisis has affected nearly a quarter of the population. It is characterized by high inflation rates and currency depreciation, and food insecurity. Intercommunal clashes and violence in some areas of the country, especially in the Darfur and Kordofan regions, also contributed to the high numbers of internal and cross-border displacements. Billions of dollars in international support and debt relief were paused after the 2021 coup, worsening the economic crisis and humanitarian situation in the country.

Even before the latest fighting, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in their Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot released on April 5, “Localized conflict and insecurity continue to displace thousands of people and disrupt lives in parts of Sudan.”

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Key facts
  • According to UN OCHA in Sudan’s 2023 Humanitarian Needs Overview, “the four most significant risks identified are conflict, disasters associated with natural hazards, disease outbreaks, and economic deterioration.”
  • At least 15.8 million people – one-third of the country’s population – were in need of humanitarian assistance as of January 2023, which is an increase from 14.3 million in 2022. However, recent events and increased military actions have dramatically increased the number of people needing support. In the revised Humanitarian Response Plan, 24.7 million people were identified as being in need, and 18.1 million are targeted in the plan. In the prior plan, 57% of people in need were women, 55% were children and 15% had disabilities.
  • Humanitarian workers have faced increasing violence, with at least 18 aid workers killed and more injured since April 15. More have been detained or are missing. Fifty warehouses and 82 offices of humanitarian operations have been looted. More than 200 vehicles have been stolen from humanitarian aid workers.
  • A severe flooding season between May–September 2022 (typically between June–September) affected 16 out of 18 states in Sudan. Over 100,000 people were displaced due to this flooding. Above-average rainfall is expected in 2023, with much of it likely to take place in areas that previously flooded.
  • According to IOM, from April 15 to Aug. 1, 2023, the Displacement Tracking Matrix “estimates that approximately 3,020,517 individuals ( 603,918 households) have been displaced internally as a result of the conflict. The highest proportions of IDPs have been observed in River Nile (15.48%), Northern (11.95%), North Darfur (9.83%), and White Nile (9.01%) states. Field teams report that the IDPs observed were originally displaced from eight states. The majority (71.41%) have been reportedly displaced from Khartoum state; followed by North Darfur (9.32%), South Darfur (7.46%), West Darfur (6.01%), Central Darfur (4.87%), South Kordofan (0.51%), North Kordofan (0.41%), and Aj Jazirah (0.01%). Furthermore,  the conflict has led to the mixed-cross-border movements of 926,841 individuals.”
Source: IOM
Health care

The health care system in Sudan is weak, and the fighting has reduced medical access as health facilities have been attacked, destroyed or had to close their services. The shortage of food, fuel and supplies is also concerning, as are power outages and dangers to staff and patients.

On July 20, a group from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was attacked by armed men. The assailants beat the members of the team and stole a vehicle less than half a mile from the Turkish Hospital to which they were transporting supplies. The hospital is one of only two medical facilities that remain open in southern Khartoum. Both are supported by MSF, which warns that unless the safety of their staff is guaranteed, they may no longer be able to support the Ministry of Health.

“Following this horrific incident, MSF is warning that activities in the hospital are now in serious jeopardy, and we will not be able to continue to provide medical care if minimum safety guarantees are not met.”

According to the WHO Surveillance System of Attacks on Healthcare, since the start of the conflict, “WHO has verified 53 attacks on health care resulting in 11 deaths and 38 injuries … Attacks on health care include incidents involving hospitals, ambulances, laboratories, warehouses, health workers and patients.” Since these are only verified attacks, there may be others.

According to UN OCHA, “Disease outbreaks—including malaria, measles, dengue and acute watery diarrhoea—that had been under control before the conflict are increasing due to the disruption of basic public health services. As the rainy season begins, outbreaks are likely to claim more lives unless urgent action is taken to control their spread. A measles outbreak has been reported in 28 localities across 11 states. To date, over 900 cases have been reported.”

On Thursday, July 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Cases of infectious diseases and other illness have been reported among the displaced population who have sought shelter in hard-to-reach locations, where health services are limited. ‘The scale of the health crisis is enormous. We are working hard to step up our response, delivering critical medical and other emergency health supplies’ said Dr. Nima Saeed Abid, WHO Representative in Sudan, speaking during a virtual press conference.”

As of July 28, more than 80% of health care services in areas where the most fighting is occurring are closed. At least 17 of them have been bombed. It is believed that some have been turned into military bases. Only 20% of hospitals are located outside of Khartoum, home to the most significant fighting.

The NGO Forum has confirmed that medical supplies are in short supply and at least 60 facilities supported by NGOs are going to run out of these critical necessities by mid-August.

UN OCHA says that, “Across all affected areas, health staff have not been paid for nearly three months, and most of them have relocated to safer areas. There are serious shortages of specialized medical personnel, including anaesthesiologists and surgical specialists, most of whom have relocated. Shortages of medicines and medical supplies, including treatment for chronic diseases, oxygen supplies and x-ray films, continue to be reported in some states, despite the provision of supplies by some health partners.”


UNICEF reports that more than 13.6 million (1 in 2) children are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. At least 1.7 million children have been newly displaced, adding to the 1.9 million children who were displaced before this crisis.

According to UNICEF, at least 435 children have been killed since April 15 and more than 2,025 children have been injured. They also state that there is an average of at least one violation of children’s rights every hour (more than 2,500 total).

Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Humanitarian Action and Supply Operations, stated, “Every day children are being killed, injured, abducted and seeing the schools, hospitals and the vital infrastructure and life-saving supplies they rely on damaged, destroyed or looted.”

Millions of children are out of school because of school closures. Almost a million have been forced to flee because of the conflicts. There are 89 schools being used to house displaced populations in North Darfur, White Nile, Gedaref, Kassala, South Darfur, West Darfur and Blue Nile states. This will make education access even more challenging in September or October if new shelter accommodations are not found for IDPs. Being out of school puts young people at increased risk of recruitment in one of the armed groups, sold in child marriage or forced into child labor.

According to UNICEF, “As of 23 June, more than 140,000 Sudanese refugees and 34,000 Chadian returnees have crossed the border – over 90% of them women and children – and thousands more are expected to arrive as violence escalates in Darfur.” However, the agency reports that it is running out of resources to treat the refugees.

There are 1.7 million children under the age of one who are at risk of missing one or more essential vaccinations.

Child refugees from South Sudan have faced measles outbreaks, in addition to malnutrition, with 300 of them dying from one or the other since April.

Water access and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

At least 14.9 million people are in need in the WASH sector, according to the updated Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview 2023, dated May 2023. The amount of funding needed has grown from $129 million to $230.9 million.

UNICEF has found that, “Inadequate water, hygiene and sanitation practices poses major risks for communities especially children. Moreover, water and sanitation related diseases are one of the leading causes of death for children under five. In Sudan 17.3 million people lack access to basic level drinking water supply and are at risk of disease. About 24 million lack access to proper sanitation facilities. Sanitation coverage has stagnated with more than 10.5 million people practice open defecation. This poses a major hazard to children and communities and has a significant impact on food security, rising malnutrition, disease outbreaks, conflict, and ultimately child morbidity and mortality.”

Key infrastructure, including pipes, has been damaged by the fighting (although it was not well maintained prior). Residents are using the Nile River for all water needs, including drinking, bathing and cleaning.

Sudan, as an agricultural nation, uses 97% of its water to support that industry, but climate change – including water scarcity and desertification – is affecting that water supply as well.

One of the key goals of the WASH sector will be to create better gender-sensitive sanitation and basic water services for millions of women and girls.

Economic crisis

Sudan’s economy remains in crisis, with high inflation, a shortage of foreign currency and a large national debt. The country is struggling to provide basic services to its citizens, and many people are experiencing food insecurity and poverty. Even prior to the latest civil war it had the highest poverty rate in Northern Africa.

The 2022 poverty rate was 15.3% when looking at the $2.15/day marker. But when increased to the lower middle-income poverty rate of $3.65/day, the rate jumped to 49.7%. The upper middle-income poverty rate of $6.85 shows a rate of 86.2%. While the GDP were expected to grow in 2023, the war has caused the economy to freeze. Food prices have increased dramatically and the banking system has essentially collapsed. The informal economy is behind much of the employment currently.

According to the World Bank, “The secession of South Sudan [in 2011] led to multiple economic shocks, including the loss of oil revenue that had accounted for more than half of the Sudan government’s revenue and 95% of its exports. This has reduced economic growth and resulted in double-digit consumer price inflation…”

Since 2011, inflation has increased to triple-digit numbers, although it decreased throughout 2022. As of January 2023, school fees had increased 400% and oil prices had grown by 300%.

Human rights and protection concerns

There are ongoing concerns about human rights abuses in Sudan, including reports of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, and restrictions on freedom of expression and association. The government has taken some steps to address these issues, but progress has been slow. The protection issues have been amplified by the war, with fighting happening in urban areas leading to civilian deaths.

According to Amnesty International, there have been “extensive war crimes including mass killings of civilians, rape and sexual slavery of women in the ongoing conflict … Amnesty detailed waves of violence in West Darfur province —one of five constituting the Darfur region — including the killing of civilians, looting and destruction of homes and facilities such as the main hospital and markets.”

On July 13, the UN Security Council was informed about a mass grave of 87 bodies found outside the region’s capital El-Geneina. Most are Masalit, who are often targeted by the RSF and their allied militias, especially Arab militias. It is believed they were killed between June 13-21. This ethnic cleansing is reminiscent of the genocide in Darfur in 2003, which killed hundreds of thousands of people.

IDPs and refugees

The ongoing conflicts in some parts of Sudan, including in the Darfur region and in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, have led to the displacement of millions of people, who are often living in difficult conditions in camps and settlements.

Displaced people lack access to all basic services to meet their humanitarian needs, including access to water, food, shelter, protection, healthcare, etc.

As of Aug. 1, more than 3 million people (and over 600,000 households) have been displaced internally (IDPs). This is more than 334,000 additional people since July 25. The majority of IDPs were displaced from Khartoum state (71.41%), while North Dafur had 9.32%, South Dafur had 7,46%, West Dafur had 6.01% and Central Dafur had 4.87%. The majority (55.62%) came from urban areas, while 44.38% are from rural communities.

Source: IOM
Hunger and nutrition

Before the outbreak of fighting, more than 15 million people faced severe food insecurity in Sudan, an increase of over two million people since last year.

The United Nations expected hunger to grow to 19.1 million because of the crisis. According to the Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC), as of Aug. 3, 20.3 million people, or 42% of the population, are acutely food insecure. While the harvesting season (October 2023 to February 2024) will reduce this to 15 million, the long-term outlook is not good.

UNICEF says that 3.4 million children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, up from three million before the fighting started. Of these, 690,000 are severely malnourished, up from 612,000 children. Much of this increase comes from families displaced by the crisis.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, “With 14 million people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and nearly 6.3 million people facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute hunger, the situation is critical.”

The IPC blames, “disruption of supply chains, population displacement, and damage to infrastructure caused by the conflict” for the increase in hunger and food insecurity. There are also concerns that climate and fighting will impact the growth and production of crops.

IPC says that, “The most highly food insecure populations are in locations and states with active conflict, including West Darfur (where 62 percent of the population is highly food insecure), Khartoum and South Kordofan (56 percent of the population in IPC Phase 3 or above in these states), the Central Darfur, the East and the South Darfur as well as West Kordofan (53 percent of the population is in IPC Phase 3 or above in these states).”

Food prices have doubled since April 15, when the fighting began. These numbers are expected to increase dramatically as the conflict continues. Much of the fighting is concentrated in Khartoum, which already had the highest number of South Sudanese refugees and a highly food-insecure population.

The World Food Programme says that the price of a local food basket increased 18% between the first two weeks of April and end of May (from $0.74 USD to $0.88 USD/447 Sudanese pound to 527 Sudanese pound).

UN OCHA said that basic commodities had increased at least 60% as of May 10 and supply chain challenges were being made worse by the fighting. There has also been an increase in neighboring countries due to Sudan’s conflict.

Despite above-average cereal production this year due to favorable weather, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network says levels of acute food insecurity are expected to deteriorate further. Making matters worse, UN OCHA reported that a factory in Khartoum that manufactured critical supplies to treat malnourished children was burned to the ground.

Gender disparities

A Rapid Gender Analysis on Power and Participation conducted by CARE in Sudan’s Kassala State showed women are often not consulted in decision-making, and social norms are a key barrier towards greater inclusion. The report highlights opportunities to enhance women’s participation and leadership. Bringing women (and youth) into community organizing can reduce extremism.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is increasing. As many as 4.2 million women and girls face the risks of GBV.

Climate change

Sudan is also subject to the impacts of climate change. Sudan is one of the ten countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change.

These vulnerabilities include seasonal rains becoming more unpredictable, increasingly frequent droughts and rise in temperature. Land degradation and forestation compound the impacts of climate hazards.

Climate change has also been a source of conflict due to competition for water resources, grazing land and pastures. Available evidence suggests that climate change has also heightened competition for access to water sources, pastures and traditional grazing lands.

According to UNEP research, “approximately 40% of internal conflicts over the past six decades can be attributed to the exploitation of natural resources, including competition over scarce resources, such as fertile land and water.”

South Sudan

Nearly 200,000 people have fled Sudan for South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan is facing a massive hunger crisis and has its own shaky power-sharing leadership agreement. However, the terms of the peace deal signed in 2018 after a five-year civil war that caused 400,000 deaths have not been met.

The United Nations envoy to South Sudan says that the crisis in Sudan should “serve as a wake-up call for Juba” (the capital of South Sudan). He adds, “‘[The situation] reinforces the imperative to move swiftly in strengthening the foundations for peace, stability and inclusive governance. A conducive political and civic environment is required for all political parties, civil society groups, media and all South Sudanese.’ The United Nations has repeatedly criticized South Sudan’s leadership for its role in stoking violence, cracking down on political freedoms and plundering public coffers.”

Due to its own crises, South Sudan faces many challenges in welcoming and meeting the needs of the Sudanese refugees. The Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Peter Van der Auweraert said, “When people arrive South Sudan today, they are more vulnerable than they used to be, they are more likely to be undernourished, they are more likely to be sick and they are more likely to need more assistance than before.”

Related reading

Two things are currently needed currently in the Sudan response.

  • Long-term political process: Ambassador Alexander Rondos, the European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, said that Sudan needs a “long-term political process to bring peace and stability.” Will Carter of the Norwegian Refugee Council added, “International and regional bodies must also strongly condemn, at the highest levels, the blatant violations of international humanitarian law that are ongoing. Parties to the conflict need to be put on notice.”
  • Immediate humanitarian needs: Rondos also recognizes that there are immediate humanitarian needs to be addressed. Getting it right in the beginning can help improve recovery. Donors can help by supporting calls to end restrictions on entry in Sudan for both supplies and humanitarian workers. Supply lines need to be secured. There is a need for support both internally within Sudan and within the many countries receiving Sudanese refugees.

During any complex humanitarian emergency (CHE), immediate needs always include shelter; food; WASH; health care; education; protection of at-risk populations and case management. These needs will continue throughout the course of the CHE.

Security and protection

Protection has been an ongoing humanitarian concern in Sudan for decades because of the protracted conflict, displacement and other forms of violence. These conflicts have resulted in widespread human rights violations, including attacks on civilians, sexual and gender-based violence (GBV), and forced displacement. The UN Protection Cluster covers four areas of key concerns: child protection; GBV; housing, land and property; and mine action.

Displacement contributes to and exacerbates protection risks. Displaced populations are particularly vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse, and therefore require enhanced protection. In addition to conflict-related protection concerns, Sudan also faces challenges related to human trafficking, smuggling and other forms of organized crime. These issues are particularly acute in refugee and IDP camps, where criminal networks often take advantage of the vulnerable population.

At the end of June 2023, the United Nations reported increasing numbers of reports about domestic violence and GBV. They were also hearing reports of sexual violence and rape of women and girls who have fled Sudan. In an attempt to protect girls from sexual violence, there has been an increase in child marriage. Protection concerns are growing in Sudan because of the newest conflict, particularly for at-risk groups, including children, women, elderly persons and persons with disabilities, as families lose their socioeconomic and community-support structures. Humanitarian actors will work to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to basic services and protection from violence, exploitation, and abuse. This includes providing shelter, food, water and medical care, as well as supporting efforts to prevent and respond to human rights violations.

Seven towns or villages in West Darfur have been almost fully or fully destroyed through mass burning since April. The latest is the town of Sirba. Almost 4,500 homes have been destroyed by the RSF, representing 86% of homes in the town. Hundreds may have been killed, thousands are wandering the desert, trying to find safety in Chad or other places.

As many as 27 towns across all of Darfur have been burned. Many of those targeted by the RSF in West Darfur as part of ethnic cleansing are members of the non-Arab Masalit group. The New Humanitarian states, “Hundreds of thousands of Masalit civilians have fled across the border to eastern Chad and are living in dire conditions.”

The security of physical, economic and social resources is also an important concern. There needs to be safe, humanitarian access to certain places in Sudan, with full cooperation of all warring parties. This includes supplies being secured to prevent theft or damage. From a physical standpoint, water-supply plants and power plants must be secured, especially in urban areas. Economically, farmers need support to access fertilizer and other agricultural resources before the planting season. They also need access to water. Dams across the Nile need to be protected both to support Sudan, but also the flow of water into Egypt.
Cash assistance

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy recommends cash both as a donation method and a recovery strategy, where local markets allow. Direct cash assistance can allow families to purchase items and services that address their multiple needs. It gives each family flexibility and choice, ensuring that support is relevant and timely. Cash-based approaches to disaster recovery also give people the freedom to choose how they rebuild their lives and provide a pathway to economic empowerment.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has a Global Recovery Fund that provides an opportunity for donors to meet the ongoing and ever-expanding challenges presented by global crises.

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Philanthropic contributions

If you would like to make a donation to the CDP Global Recovery Fund, please contact development. 

(Photo: Homes destroyed by the violence between Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, April 2023. Photo courtesy of Patty McIlreavy.)

Recovery updates

If you are a responding NGO or a donor, please send updates on how you are working in this crisis to Tanya Gulliver-Garcia. 

We welcome the republication of our content. Please credit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Donor recommendations

If you are a donor looking for recommendations on how to help with this crisis, please email Regine A. Webster. 

Philanthropic and government support

As of May 1, donors had funded just 13.9% ($243.7 million) of Sudan’s 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) goal of $1.75 billion. In late May, the HRP goal was increased to $2.57 billion. As of Aug. 4, a total of $628 million had been funded (just 24.5%). The U.S. government has contributed over half (60.1%) of the funds to date: $377.7 million. The European Commission is second at 11.4% or $71.4 million.

CDP provided a grant in 2022 of $202,488 to the Near East Foundation. The project provided rapid, life-saving support to highly vulnerable conflict- and crisis-impacted people (IDPs, returnees, and vulnerable host populations) in South Sudan and Sudan, helping them to reduce their risk of food insecurity, recover their livelihoods, and build resilience to future shocks and disruptions through improved agricultural production, inclusive value chain development, and access to finance. The project deployed durable early recovery solutions to complex and chronic emergencies in Sudan and South Sudan.

In 2021, CDP provided a $25,000 grant to World Vision to provide support for the well-being of children in the areas devastated by floods and in settings where populations are already vulnerable through WASH emergency interventions, shelter and non-food items, protection of children, and support for health services and mobile clinics.

Grassroots mutual aid organizations have been creating emergency rooms to provide services in communities and are able to work in areas where humanitarian organizations have pulled their staff. These groups stem from the activist networks that have fought against the regime of Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Despite the great work they are doing, they receive little financial support from international donors (most money comes from local or diaspora donations) and are being threatened by both factions in the war. The emergency rooms are supporting hospitals, sheltering displaced people and providing food and water.

More ways to help

As with most disasters and emergencies, cash donations are recommended by disaster experts as they allow for on-the-ground agencies to direct funds to the most significant area of need, support local economic recovery and ensure material donations do not detract from disaster recovery needs.

Donors can help in the following ways:

  • Provide unrestricted core funding for vetted humanitarian NGO partners that support the HRP. This is an efficient way to ensure the best use of resources in a coordinated manner. Funding the NGOs that have contributed to the HRP ensures that resources are directed to support the plan and use humanitarian partners’ best knowledge. Funders can support humanitarian organizations working in Sudan to provide aid, such as food, water, shelter and medical care, to those in need in the immediate future. But, because of the protracted nature of the crisis, funders can also invest in development projects that help build infrastructure, create jobs and promote economic growth in Sudan. These projects can include initiatives to improve agriculture, energy and transportation systems, as well as programs that support entrepreneurship and small businesses. CDP is in contact with a number of organizations with long histories of providing support in the country.
  • Understand that recovery and resilience-building is possible in protracted and complex crisis settings. Even while focusing on immediate needs, remember that there are early and long-term recovery needs, too. We know that people who have been affected by shocks in complex humanitarian contexts can recover, improve their situation and build their resilience to withstand future shocks without waiting until the crisis is over, which may take years. Recovery is possible, and funding will be needed for recovery and resilience efforts alongside humanitarian funding. Recovery will take a long time, and funding will be needed now and throughout.
  • Recognize there are places and ways that private philanthropy can help that other donors may not. Private funders can support nimble and innovative solutions that leverage or augment the larger humanitarian system response, either filling gaps or modeling change that, once tested and proven, can be taken to scale within the broader humanitarian response structure. Philanthropy can also provide sustainable funding to national and local organizations that support needed operational costs.

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UN IASC Protection Cluster

UN IASC Protection Cluster

The Protection Cluster is one of 11 function-based clusters of the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee Cluster System. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees leads the Cluster.

Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

CHEs involve an acute emergency layered over ongoing instability. Multiple scenarios can cause CHEs, like the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the man-made political crisis in Venezuela, or the public health crisis in Congo.

Emergency and Interim Shelter

Emergency and Interim Shelter

After a disaster, shelter is more than a place to rest, it is a place of security, access to food, water and medical treatment. A place to start recovering after a disaster.


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