The European Commission announced Monday a €106 million support package – €46 million in humanitarian assistance and €60 million for development – to directly assist people in Sudan affected by forced displacement, undernutrition, disease outbreaks and recurrent extreme climatic conditions.
The announcement comes as Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is currently in Sudan, visiting EU humanitarian aid projects in South Darfur.
Some 4.8 million people in Sudan currently need urgent assistance, said the European Commission in a press release.
“Here in Sudan the humanitarian situation continues to be critical. Millions have been displaced for many years in Darfur. Our new EU funding is crucial to respond to the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees, notably from South Sudan, and internally displaced people, as well as of the hosting communities, said Christos Stylianides.
He said the humanitarian aid will help bring life-saving relief to the most vulnerable populations, adding that full humanitarian access throughout the country is crucial so that humanitarian workers can deliver aid safely to those in need.
The European Union is committed to directly support the people of Sudan. Our new development aid will boost our ongoing efforts through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. It addresses the needs of the most vulnerable Sudanese communities and offer livelihood opportunities, by better linking the EU’s humanitarian and development work in Sudan”, said Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica.
All EU assistance in Sudan is provided to humanitarian and development organizations with no funding going through the government.
Sudan currently hosts the second largest number of internally displaced people (3.3 million) and the third largest number of refugees in Africa (more than 965.000).
Thirteen years since the start of the Darfur crisis, 2.7 million people continue to be uprooted in this region alone, while conflict also affects South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The number of refugees has been steadily increasing over the last years as well, in particular since the South Sudanese conflict started in 2013. More than 180.000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in Sudan since the beginning of this year alone, the large majority of them being children, states the press release.
In addition, acute undernutrition rates in Sudan are among the highest in Africa: 1 in 6 children suffers from acute undernutrition, 1 in 20 from its most severe form which is likely to cause death unless treated. In 2017, 3.4 million people are facing severe food insecurity. In recent months, considerable new humanitarian needs have emerged, linked to the spread of epidemics, a mass influx of South Sudanese refugees and high undernutrition in newly accessible areas of Jebel Marra, Darfur.