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Saudi Grant to Help War-Affected People in Sudan

The Commissioner of Humanitarian Aid in North Kordofan State, Tariq Amin Abu Al-Bishr, revealed the allocation of (48) thousand sacks of wheat flour to the state out of a total of (435.96) thousand mobiles is a Saudi grant provided by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

A UNHCR official has warned that the increasingly brutal fighting “affects the people of Sudan, and the world is blatantly silent”.

A UN official said the war, which erupted without warning, has turned Sudanese’s once peaceful homes into graveyards, warning that an unimaginable humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Sudan, away from the eyes of the world and news headlines.

Dominic Hyde, Director of UNHCR’s External Relations Division, recently visited Sudan and spoke to reporters in Geneva recently, where she gave a briefing on the worsening humanitarian crisis there.

She warned that the fighting, which is increasingly widespread and brutal, affects the people of Sudan, “and the world is blatantly silent, despite continued violations of international humanitarian law with impunity.”

“It is shameful that the atrocities committed 20 years ago in Darfur can be repeated again today with insufficient attention being paid to it,” Dominic Hyde said.

As a result, nearly six million people have been forced from their homes – more than a million of them have fled to neighbouring countries, some of which are fragile. Women and children make up the vast majority of these displaced people.

Dominic Hyde reported further displacement due to the recent conflict in Darfur, where thousands struggle to seek shelter and many sleep under trees on the roadside.

It expressed serious concern that these persons were unable to reach basic necessities such as food, shelter and clean drinking water.

The future of millions of children at risk
The UNHCR official said she visited Sudan’s White Nile state last week, where more than 433,000 internally displaced people live. The state hosted some 300,000 refugees – mostly South Sudanese – in 10 camps.

The sharp rise in the number of displaced people has put significant pressure on basic services in the camps, Dominic Hyde said.

As across Sudan, schools have been closed for the past seven months, with displaced people taking temporary shelter from these schools. Dominic warns that the education and future of millions of children in Sudan are at risk.

The health situation is catastrophic, with more than 1,200 children under the age of five dying in White Nile state between May and September as a result of an outbreak of measles with severe malnutrition.

Dominic warned that at least four children died every week in the state with no medicines, crews and essential supplies.

Increasing frequency of asylum
The UNHCR pointed out that the pace of Sudanese seeking refuge in neighboring countries has increased significantly. In Chad, the number of new arrivals averages 700 per day.

Dominic Hyde said she visited the South Sudanese border town of Renk last week and spent a week there, noting that the city has seen a sharp rise in the number of refugees.

During her week in the city, she said more than 20,000 people had crossed the border from Sudan, some of them South Sudanese refugees returning home.

She said the temporary shelter – set up to receive 3,000 people – currently hosts some 20,000 people, most of them refugees from Sudan.

“Wherever you go, you’ll find people everywhere, and the situation is constantly deteriorating. The water and sanitation situation is so bad that it could lead to a cholera epidemic. I’ve spent 30 years working in this field, and that’s one of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen.”

Dominic Hyde said the numbers were staggering, noting that more than 362,000 people had crossed the border into South Sudan since the conflict in Sudan began.

Funding urgently needed to cope with needs
The UNHCR official said aid agencies were doing their best to help, but the needs were putting a lot of pressure on them. “Our team arrives day and night, but our capacity is not enough to keep up with the requirements, and we urgently need funding to implement our response plans.”

The Regional Refugee Response Plan covers humanitarian needs in neighbouring countries receiving refugees from Sudan and is currently only 39 percent funded.

Dominique noted that an appeal for $1 billion has been launched to cover operations by 64 partners in five countries. In parallel, the separate humanitarian appeal inside Sudan remains funded by only a third of the amount requested, reaching 18.1 million people and requiring $2.6 billion in funding.

Ms. Dominique stressed the great importance of the humanitarian appeals, noting that people inside Sudan will continue to cross into neighbouring countries if urgent humanitarian assistance is available. Chad, for example, is struggling to respond to large numbers of arrivals. She concluded:

“If we cannot help these countries meet the basic needs of refugees, people will try to find a way to safety and a better future for themselves and their families, even if that is by putting their lives at the mercy of people smugglers and making dangerous journeys fraught with danger.”

Source: Al-Taghyeer