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7 things you should know about the conflict in Sudan

Emergency Prevention

On April 15 2023, an armed conflict broke out in Sudan. In May 2023, HI mobilized in Eastern Chad to support and care for Sudanese refugees fleeing the violence.

Two women talk to each other and listen to their peers.

February 2024, Adré region. Refugee women take part in a discussion group to work through their trauma. | © M. Degue Mohassingar / HI

General information on the conflict

A major crisis with unmet needs on a huge scale

On April 15 2023, armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out in Khartoum, Sudan, before rapidly spreading to other parts of the country. This devastating conflict is unfolding against a backdrop of chronic crisis, further weakening a country where humanitarian needs were already immense. In 2023, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that only 43% of needs were covered. In 2024, OCHA estimates that 2.7 billion dollars will be needed to provide the population with the necessary aid.

A conflict with disastrous consequences

After years of crisis, this conflict of alarming proportions has triggered yet another major humanitarian disaster. The increase in violence and insecurity since April 2023 has caused a large number of civilian casualties, lasting damage to essential infrastructure and massive population displacements. The United Nations estimates that almost 25 million people are currently in need of vital protection and assistance. 

Population displacements of unprecedented proportions

Sudan is currently facing the largest internal displacement crisis in the world, as well as the largest child displacement crisis. According to OCHA, more than 8.4 million people have been displaced inside and outside the country since April 2023, some 3 million of them children. More than 1.7 million people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries: around 610,000 have gone to South Sudan, more than 560,000 to Chad, 500,000 to Egypt, more than 50,000 to Ethiopia and almost 30,000 to the Central African Republic.

Growing food insecurity

According to the United Nations, 18 million people - more than one-third of Sudan’s population - are facing acute food insecurity. This catastrophic situation is essentially due to the intensification of conflicts throughout Sudan, the rise in inter-community violence, rising food prices and below-average agricultural production. The World Food Program (WFP) has also reported a disastrous rise in cases of acute malnutrition among young children... in Chad, around 40% of refugee children are affected. 

Children, the primary victims of the conflict

One year into the conflict, 24 million children are suffering serious violations of their rights. According to the United Nations, there are disturbing reports of rape, access to humanitarian aid being denied and other violations of international law, including violations of children's economic and social rights. Throughout the country, schools have been destroyed or turned into emergency shelters for internally displaced people, compromising children's right to education for many years to come, and exposing them to the risk of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. 

Information specific to HI’s response

A response wherever it is needed

Already working in several neighboring countries, HI mobilized from the very first weeks of the conflict to assist survivors who had crossed Sudan's borders to seek refuge. Chad, Egypt and South Sudan have all seen a massive influx of refugees. HI is currently delivering rehabilitation services and mental health care to treat their injuries and provide them with psychological first aid. In Sudan, HI is also supporting a local partner to meet these same needs and guarantee better protection for populations in situations of vulnerability.

Eastern Chad, witness to the violence suffered by the Sudanese people

In the 12 months since the start of the conflict, more than 560,000 people have crossed the border into Chad in the hope of finding refuge, protection, and medical and psychosocial assistance. HI is now working in the Adré region, close to the border with Sudan, mainly in the refugee camps and at Adré hospital, which is supported by Médecins Sans Frontières. HI Chad’s teams provide daily care and support to those in need - young children, women, elderly people, people with disabilities and anyone who has suffered from the violence raging in their country. So far, almost 900 Sudanese refugees have benefited from accessing HI’s services, with 411 people participating in rehabilitation care and 451 people benefiting from psychological first aid. HI is also providing logistical support via its Atlas Logistics division, which has helped to rehabilitate an airstrip and build warehouses to ensure that humanitarian aid is efficiently coordinated and delivered.

Date published: 04/15/24


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