With the conflict in Sudan causing untold suffering to the country and forcing millions to flee their homes in search of safety, the Commission has pledged today a total of €190 million in additional humanitarian and development assistance. It comes as Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič is co-hosting today a High-level Pledging Event to support the Humanitarian Response in Sudan and the Region.
Out of the total new EU aid package, €52 million is allocated in humanitarian assistance in Sudan to support the most vulnerable caught up in the crisis. A further €8 million is dedicated to supporting Sudan's neighbours to deal with the arrival of those fleeing Sudan.
In addition, €130 million in development cooperation will support food security, resilience and health for the most vulnerable people.
Convened by the EU, the United Nations, Egypt, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the African Union, the pledging event held in Geneva aims at exploring ways to help not only the people of Sudan, but also supporting neighbouring countries hosting thousands of returnees and Sudanese refugees.
The new humanitarian funding is in addition to the €73 million already allocated to Sudan in 2023 in humanitarian assistance and to €1.15 million allocated for the immediate relief and first aid assistance to populations in Sudan itself, and to refugees and returnees in neighbouring countries.
The EU also launched Humanitarian Air Bridge flights earlier this year to deliver essential supplies and EU humanitarian aid experts were rapidly deployed along the border regions in countries bordering Sudan (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad and Egypt), to rapidly assess the emerging humanitarian needs on the ground.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, stressed: “The humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Sudan are enormous, both on the country itself, and on its neighbours. Since the beginning of the conflict in Sudan, the EU has supported all those caught in the fighting and those seeking safety either by displacing themselves in their own country or crossing international borders. We have been working resolutely to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable, and I invite the entire international community to demonstrate solidarity with the Sudanese people during this High-Level Pledging Event. Yet, humanitarian assistance can only be effective if safe, unimpeded and uninterrupted access to the entire territory and population is guaranteed and effective. I reiterate my call to all parties of the conflict to allow immediate access for humanitarian operations and to respect International Humanitarian Law.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, highlighted: “The situation in Sudan continues to deteriorate, and a ‘crisis on top of an existing crisis’ is unfolding. The EU continues its direct support to the affected population in Sudan and the neighbouring countries, where the refugees and returnees seek shelter. We are deploying the humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach. Food security, resilience and health for the most vulnerable are vital elements for promoting peace.”
Violent armed clashes broke out in Sudan on 15 April between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This development comes following a prolonged political gridlock after the 2021 military coup. Prior to the outbreak of violence, the political, security and economic instability, combined with a poor harvest, led to the worst humanitarian crisis in a decade. The EU had stepped up its humanitarian aid to support the most vulnerable.
More than 2.1 million people have been displaced since the conflict began on 15 April 2023 and have fled to safer locations inside and outside the country. According to the revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased from 15.8 million, estimated in November 2022, to 24.7 million in May 2023, representing now half of the country’s population.
The EU has strongly urged all parties for a full compliance with international humanitarian law, including protection of civilians and humanitarian space. Safe, timely, and unhindered access for humanitarian operations should be guaranteed by all stakeholders, including in conflict-affected areas and in areas hosting refugees and returnees from Sudan.
- Publication date
- 19 June 2023
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)