Press Conferences | OCHA , UNHCR
UN seeks highest funding appeal ever for Sudan; nearly $3 billion needed for urgent humanitarian aid
Amid a massive increase in the number of people in Sudan impacted by more than a month of heavy fighting, the UN on Wednesday said that it needed a record near $3 billion to help them.
In addition to the revised request from the UN aid coordination office OCHA for $2.56 billion to fund its Humanitarian Response Plan targeting some 18 million people in Sudan, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that it needed $472 million to assist those forced to flee across Sudan’s borders.
The revised joint humanitarian response plan updates the response strategy launched for Sudan in December 2022.
“Today 25 million people, more than half the population of Sudan, needs humanitarian aid and protection,” said Ramesh Rajasingham, Head and Representative of OCHA in Geneva, at a press briefing at UN in Geneva. “This is the highest number we have ever seen in the country. The response plan we are launching today reflects that new reality… The funding requirements of nearly USD 2.6 billion is also the highest for any humanitarian appeal for Sudan."
The fighting that started on 15 April between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has caused tremendous human suffering and exacerbated significant pre-existing humanitarian needs in Sudan.
Mr. Rajasingham warned that the crisis in Sudan is rapidly evolving into a regional crisis. “The needs in Sudan are fundamental and widespread, as you can expect from a conflict. Protection from fighting, medical support, food and water, sanitation, shelter and trauma care." He added that "we are also receiving worrying reports of increased sexual violence while the victims have little access to help. Children are especially vulnerable in this chaos that is unfolding.”
Since the fighting began nearly a million people have been displaced, the number internally displaced has risen to 730,000 and 220,000 have fled to neighboring countries, according to OCHA.
“Today we launched an appeal of some $472 million to respond to the needs of over one million persons over the next six months,” said Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations. “So far, the crisis, which has just started a month ago, resulted in massive outflows into neighboring countries.”
Mr. Mazou added that “about 220,000 refugees and returnees have been seeking safety in Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Central African Republic and Ethiopia; 150,000 of them are Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers. Close to 60,000 are people who were refugees in Sudan and who are returning to their country in adverse conditions. So, South Sudanese form the largest number. And overall, we have to keep in mind that there were 1.1 million refugees living in Sudan prior to this crisis.”
A few months ago, the need for humanitarian aid was almost half of today’s requirement, said OCHA’s Mr. Rajasingham. “We had asked for a $1.75 billion for the original appeal for 2023. This has now increased to $2.6 billion. The number of people that we are targeting has gone from over 12 million to 18 million people.”
Although needs throughout the country have “expanded drastically”, Mr. Rajasingham added that so funding levels for Sudan have been poor, “as we have seen for many crises around the world in the last couple of years.”
With a reported increased number of those people living in IPC phase 3, 4, and 5 which indicates increasing dire levels of hunger, Mr. Rajasingham also warned of looming famine in the region. “When you have a crisis like this and you don't have access to basic services, you don't have access to health and water, there's an enormous risk that there will be an increased risk of famine as well,” he said.
STORY: Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan
SOURCE: UNTV CH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
RELEASE DATE: 17 May 2023
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