Sudan escalating violence WHO - UNHCR - OCHA - OHCHR 17 May 2024
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Edited News | OCHA , OHCHR , UNHCR , WHO

Sudan escalating violence WHO - UNHCR - OCHA - OHCHR 17 May 2024

Sudan: Millions of civilians abandoned in spiral of horrific violence, humanitarian void

 

Brutal violence, famine, disease and widespread displacement are haunting nine million Sudanese people, including four million children, UN humanitarians warn.

 

"Famine is closing in, diseases are closing in, the fighting is closing in on civilians, especially in Darfur,” Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for UN humanitarian affairs coordination office OCHA, told journalists in Geneva.

 

Half of Sudan's population - some 25 million people - are estimated to be in desperate need of humanitarian aid, according to OCHA's estimates.

 

The UN’s humanitarian response plan for Sudan aims to support 15 million of the worst-affected people in 2024. But Mr. Laerke said the $2.7 billion appeal is “catastrophically underfunded,” at only 12 per cent.

 

Tensions between the country’s military and paramilitary forces erupted into conflict in April 2023. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) control most of Darfur and are besieging North Darfur’s capital El Fasher. Almost 16,000 people have died over the course of the war and 33,000 have been injured, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO). “But the toll of the war is probably much higher,” said Dr. Shible Sahbani, WHO representative in Sudan. Speaking from Port Sudan, he highlighted the fact that in 13 months of war in Sudan, nine million people or some 17 per cent of the country’s population have been displaced, which represents “the largest internal displacement crisis in the world today”.

 

Famine is looming, with more than one third of the population facing acute hunger. A rise in attacks on health personnel and aid workers is further restricting access to life-saving care and medicines, resulting in outbreaks of cholera, measles and malaria that have been registered in two thirds of the 18 Sudanese states.

 

Earlier this week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, held separate phone calls with Lt-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the rival Rapid Support Forces.

 

Last Tuesday, Mr. Türk urged them both to act immediately and publicly to de-escalate the situation, said UN human rights office (OHCHR) spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. The UN rights chief had previously approached the rival generals in November 2022.

 

Asked about the outcome of the calls, Ms. Shamdasani said that “each of them acknowledged the importance of respecting international humanitarian law” and that General Al-Burhan also indicated that he would “facilitate visas” for OHCHR staff.

 

She added that OHCHR currently only has one international staff member in Port Sudan and is hoping to get visas for more staff to be able to go in, “including the High Commissioner's designated expert on Sudan”.

 

 

Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) sounded the alarm over increasing numbers of Sudanese arrivals in Uganda – over 33,000 people, 19,000 of whom have arrived in Kampala since the start of 2024. Matthew Crentsil, the UNHCR country representative in Uganda, called the situation a “silent emergency”.

 

Including the Sudanese, on average 2,500 people arrive in Uganda every week, mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, fleeing ongoing conflicts and climate-change impacts. UNHCR warned of the pressure that this influx, combined with funding shortfalls, puts on assistance to refugees and host communities.

 

The country is already host to almost 1.7 million refugees and asylum-seekers, while the 2024 Uganda Country Refugee Response Plan is only 13 per cent funded, UNHCR said.

 

 

-Ends-

·        Soundbites are from

o   Jens Laerke, OCHA spokesperson;

o   Dr Shible Sahbani, WHO Representative in Sudan (speaking from Port Sudan);

o   Matthew Crentsil, UNHCR Representative in Uganda 

o   Ravina Shamdasani, OHCHR spokesperson.

 

TRT: 02’22”
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 17 May 2024 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Geneva Press briefing



SHOTLIST

 

1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley 

2. Wide shot: speakers at the podium of the press conference

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, OCHA spokesperson “In Sudan, half of the population, 25 million people need humanitarian aid. Famine is closing in, diseases are closing in, the fighting is closing in on civilians, especially in Darfur. The overall response plan aims to reach and support 15 million of the worst affected people. Collectively, we ask for 2.7 billion American dollars. As of today, four and a half months into the year, we have received 12 per cent of that. This is not just an underfunded appeal. It is a catastrophically underfunded appeal.”

4. Cutaway: wide shot of the press conference room with journalists

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shible Sahbani, WHO Representative in Sudan (speaking from Port Sudan): “13 months of war in Sudan, 9 million people displaced, which represents around 17 per cent of the population and the largest internal displacement crisis in the world today.”

6. Cutaway: wide shot of the press conference room with journalists and the podium with speakers

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shible Sahbani, WHO Representative in Sudan (speaking from Port Sudan): “Close to 16,000 people have died and 33,000 have been injured. But the toll of the war is probably much higher.”

6. Cutaway: Wide lateral shot, speakers at podium from behind and journalists in the press room

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Matthew Crentsil, UNHCR Representative in Uganda: “There is what I can term a silent emergency happening in Uganda, where the 300,000 have come over the past two and half years, most of whom have come from, South Sudan and, DRC we have had recent arrivals from Sudan as well. This year alone, about 19,000 refugees have come from Sudan.”

8. Cutaway: wide shot of the press conference room with journalists

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, OHCHR spokesperson: “In response, each of them acknowledged the importance of, of respecting international humanitarian law. General Al-Burhan also, indicated that, he would facilitate visas for our staff. We currently only have one, international staff member, in Port Sudan. And, we are hoping to get visas for more staff to be able to go in. And for the high Commissioner's designated expert on Sudan to be able to go in as well.”

 

10. Various shots of the press room.


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