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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations



The continued political gridlock following the October 2021 military coup has led to a drastic reduction in the financial capacity to respond to the growing needs. This has potentially devastating consequences on the economy and people of Sudan.

Most development actors have suspended their aid. In addition, the authorities cannot provide the necessary support for ensuring basic services, including protection, health and nutrition.

Recent political developments have also opened the door for renewed inter-ethnic violence and further instability in some areas.

What are the needs?

In 2022, almost 11 million people will experience food shortages and more than 14 million will require humanitarian aid. This represents 30% of Sudan’s population; the highest rate in a decade according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Food insecurity remains alarmingly high due to conflict, economic decline and inflation with increasing food and fuel prices. It is exacerbated by the impact of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Undernutrition rates are among the highest in the world. According to UNICEF, 2.7 million children and 1.9 million mothers suffer from acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition.

Sudan has more than 3 million people internally displaced and hosts over 1.1 million refugees due to internal conflicts and regional instability.

The situation is most acute in the Darfur region, which hosts more than 80% of those internally displaced. In 2021, over 200 incidents of violence were reported in this region, destroying livelihoods and leading to new displacement.

Since the onset of the Tigray crisis in November 2020, Ethiopian refugees continue to flee to the Sudanese states of Kassala, Gedaref, and Blue Nile.

Humanitarian organisations have issues accessing the people in need. This is due to insecurity and subsequent logistical constraints but also administrative impediments.

Map Sudan

How are we helping?

In 2022, the EU allocated €40 million in humanitarian assistance to Sudan. This funding will provide mainly emergency lifesaving basic services, protection, and health and nutrition assistance.

EU humanitarian aid supports the most vulnerable households – internally displaced and refugee families and host communities – struggling to get enough food. The EU also contributes to the nutritional treatment and care of children under 5, and pregnant or breastfeeding women across Sudan.

Since 2011, the EU has mobilised more than €700 million in life-saving assistance to people affected by conflict, food shortages and malnutrition, natural hazards or disease outbreaks. EU humanitarian aid provides communities with health and nutritional care, food assistance, water and sanitation, shelter, protection, and education.

In late 2021, the EU mobilised €10.1 million in emergency assistance to support the provision of in-kind food and cash assistance throughout the country.

Given the new challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, EU-funded humanitarian projects in Sudan are adopting and adapting measures within their projects to keep staff and beneficiaries safe while continuing to provide life-saving assistance to vulnerable communities.

Actions already focusing on the health sector continue helping local health centres in providing access to healthcare and in epidemics control and prevention. The EU is also supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) actions in the country on COVID-19 detection and response measures.

In addition, the European Commission has been providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance  to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems. This funding includes €2.8 million to support the vaccination campaign in Sudan.

The EU continues to promote the respect of international humanitarian law, for unhindered and safe access for humanitarian aid and the protection of civilians.

Last updated: 16/02/2022
Picture: European Union (photographer: Anouk Delafortrie)

Facts & figures

9.8 million people need food aid (IPC)

3 million people are internally displaced (OCHA)

Over 1.1 million refugees, including around 804,000from South Sudan (UNHCR)

2.7 million acutely malnourished children and 1.89 million mothers (UNICEF)

EU humanitarian funding:
€40 million in 2022
Over €700 million since 2011