The United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has issued a report on the escalating humanitarian crisis in Sudan, which states the number of displaced people is now approaching four million. The surge in displacement is intensifying the plight of those seeking refuge, compounded by the arrival of autumn’s heavy rainfall season and the emergence of disease epidemics.
According to yesterday’s IOM report, approximately 927,000 people have crossed Sudan’s borders, with 279,000 finding refuge in Egypt. The Nile River states, North Darfur, and White Nile have reportedly witnessed the highest percentages of displaced individuals.
Khartoum has been particularly hard-hit, with 71.41 per cent of refugees fleeing from this state. The crisis has also spilled over into neighbouring countries, with Chad experiencing the highest influx of refugees.
Refugees arriving in Chad from West Darfur have reported harsh conditions, including insufficient shelter materials and food shortages, amidst the heavy rainfall period. Stranded Sudanese people at the Egyptian border have also raised concerns over delayed visa issuance and deteriorating humanitarian conditions.
The crisis’s impact on Sudan’s population is far-reaching, as the World Food Programme (WFP) warns that over 19 million people, nearly 40 per cent of the country’s population, are at risk of hunger. Additionally, UNICEF highlights the urgent need for humanitarian support, particularly for more than 14 million children.
As tribal-based violence intensifies and floods continue to displace communities, the humanitarian situation is worsening due to the ongoing war between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
In response to the escalating crisis, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has coordinated the delivery of food and relief items to multiple Sudanese states.
The WFP has been providing critical assistance to over 450,000 people in Darfur, including those internally displaced by the conflict in the El Ferdous area of East Darfur, in collaboration with the Sudanese Red Crescent.
As autumn and heavy rainfall hit Sudan, the plight of displaced people in shelters across the country worsens. Sayed Mohammed, from the Delegations’ Shelter in Sennar, warns of disease outbreaks as the centre is flooded, housing hundreds of expatriates, including 135 young children who have been bitten by snakes in the waterlogged yard.
Authorities are under pressure to work with shelter management and address sewage and backfilling issues to lessen the impact of heavy rains. The situation demands immediate aid, including flour, rice, lentils, meat, and cooking utensils.
Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health received 12 tons of routine vaccination vaccines for children through Port Sudan Airport. Facilitated by UNICEF and supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Vaccination, the vaccines include measles, muscular paralysis, and pneumococcal vaccines, with more doses expected soon.
The ministry plans to distribute these vaccines to various states using refrigerated vehicles to maintain their effectiveness.