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What’s Happening in Sudan?

On Saturday, April 15, 2023, heavy fighting broke out between two military forces, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). While the fighting started in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital city, it has since spread throughout the country causing food, fuel and water shortages in some areas. It’s been one year, since the war broke out, and we wanted to give you an update on what’s happening in Sudan.

Since war broke, out at least 13,000 people have been killed and nearly 8 million have been displaced. What’s more, 7 million people are expected to face famine in the coming months. World Relief has been working in Sudan since 2004. Today, we continue to provide food, water and medical aid to hundreds of thousands of people affected by war.

Keep reading for more on what’s currently happening in Sudan.

The Latest Update

April 15, 2024 marks one year since war broke out in Sudan. The conflict continues to evolve across the country, creating unique vulnerabilities for people in places like Darfur

At least 13,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict, and more than 8 million have been displaced. What’s more, severe famine is now threatening the country. Seven million people are expected to face famine in the coming months as the war aggravates an existing food crisis. 

When the war first began, more than 80% of our staff were displaced. A year later, many are being forced to consider permanent relocation. Likewise, many of our offices closed or hibernated due to security threats during the first months of the conflict. But as the situation has evolved and our staff have learned to operate under the new challenges, we have slowly begun to reopen offices where possible. We are now operating a large humanitarian response across multiple states in Sudan. 

While humanitarian activities are still greatly impacted, many have resumed under the challenging realities of the ongoing insecurity. World Relief and other similar humanitarian organizations play a key role in implementing humanitarian activities on the ground, much of which is funded by large international actors such as USAID and several UN agencies. 

What Is World Relief Doing To Help in Sudan?

When the conflict began in 2023, World Relief quickly adapted to the new realities in which we were forced to operate.

World Relief was one of the earliest INGOs to provide desperately needed humanitarian services in Darfur, the most conflict-affected region in Sudan outside Khartoum.  In West Darfur, we continue to implement one of the largest humanitarian responses of any organization in the region. Furthermore, World Relief has resumed operations in Central Darfur where few organizations are able to provide meaningful humanitarian services due to the conflict. 

Today, we’re providing food, water and hygiene resources across West and Central Darfur. We’re rehabilitating damaged water sources and constructing new ones, supporting primary healthcare centers and nutrition programs and working to mitigate the many protection risks the most vulnerable people, particularly women and children, face on a daily basis.

Outside Darfur, World Relief continues to serve communities in the Blue Nile. We serve a large population of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the area by providing emergency food assistance, rehabilitating health facilities to meet their needs and through agricultural development.

What About the Refugees Who Fled to Chad?

As you might recall, World Relief opened our newest international office in Chad in January 2023. Three-and-a-half months later, war erupted in Sudan, and many people fled to Chad to escape war. Quickly, our teams in Chad and Sudan began to collaborate.  We set up a sub-base in the eastern region of Chad to respond to the massive influx of Sudanese refugees.

Within the first few months, World Relief distributed high-energy biscuits for 2,000 children, food and non-food items for 1,300 individuals with special needs and soap for 10,538 people in camps near the eastern border with Sudan. We also bolstered the water and sanitation infrastructure by constructing two boreholes and 75 latrines.

Why Does Responding To This Conflict Matter To Me and World Relief?

Sudan has long been a crossroads between the Middle East and Africa. Though rich in cultures and resources, decades of colonization, civil conflict and climate disasters have made Sudan one of the most vulnerable countries on earth. 

Prior to this most recent conflict, 3 million people were already living as internally displaced in Sudan, and 15 million were at risk of acute food insecurity. The return to conflict has greatly exacerbated an already difficult situation for people experiencing the greatest vulnerability.

The conflict has greatly impacted agricultural production across Sudan which has resulted in a dire food crisis for the majority of the population, and without drastic intervention, experts predict the situation could result in a famine of historic proportions by the summer of 2024.

World Relief has been on the ground in Sudan, working to address these problems since 2004. Outside the U.S., Sudan is our largest country of operation with hundreds of staff who are committed to building flourishing communities and moving lasting change forward.  

In 2022 alone, the team reached more than 533,000 men, women and children in Sudan with life-transforming resources, training and care.

What’s Happening in Sudan Matters to Our U.S. Community Too

Not only does World Relief work in Sudan, but we have a rich history of welcoming refugees from Sudan to communities across the United States. 

You may remember reading about people like Darelsalam who came to the U.S. when she was 14-years-old, or Ibrahim who arrived in North Carolina after being separated from his family for 10 years.

Over the years, World Relief has welcomed more than 2,000 Sudanese refugees to the U.S. — this number includes people from both Sudan and South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011 — and we currently have many Sudanese staff who work across our U.S. offices. 

Much like the conflict in Ukraine, our connections in Sudan stretch across oceans, reminding us that the lives we live and the challenges we face are deeply connected and inextricably linked. We are grateful for the ways you have joined us in responding to what’s happening in Sudan and ask you to continue praying in the midst of a situation that is changing daily.

*This blog was last updated on April 15, 2024.

Want to hear more about what’s happening in Sudan? Read Country Director Josh Meare’s reflection one year later.

Rachel Clair is a Content Writer at World Relief. With more than 10 years of experience creating content for churches and non-profits, she is passionate about developing content that challenges both individuals and communities to lean into all of whom God created them to be. She holds a BFA from Stephens College and is currently participating in a spiritual formation cohort through the Transforming Center in Wheaton, IL.

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