Edited News , Press Conferences | OCHA , UNHCR
· Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA)
· Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
SOURCE: UNTV CH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 07 February 2024 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Press conference at UNOG
UN appeals for $4.1 billion in aid for war-torn Sudan and refugee-hosting countries
The United Nations on Wednesday urged countries not to forget millions of people caught up in the conflict in Sudan as it called for $4.1 billion to help stave off famine fears and assist those who fled abroad to bordering States.
To date, the 10-month war has created one of the world’s “largest displacement and protection crises”, according to UN agencies. “Half of Sudan’s population, 25 million people, needs humanitarian assistance,” said Martin Griffiths, the UN’s emergency relief chief and head of the UN aid coordination office, OCHA.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, he emphasized that far too many of those in need were children, and that 18 million people were acutely food insecure.
The spread of the conflict between Sudan’s armed forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to areas such as Gezira state, the country’s breadbasket, has prompted warnings of famine. “If we start seeing famine in Sudan to add to the violence, displacement and lack of a political horizon, then I think we can all agree we have no humanity in us that would allow this to happen,” Mr. Griffiths said.
Two in three people in Sudan lack access to healthcare and approximately 19 million children are out of school.
To provide humanitarian assistance inside Sudan, OCHA needs $2.7 billion to help 14.7 million people.
For all those who’ve fled the country, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) requested an additional $1.4 billion to support 2.7 million people displaced in five countries bordering Sudan whose resources are spent.
Last year appeal to provide aid to civilians in Sudan was funded up to 38 per cent.
At a press conference in Geneva, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi described a recent meeting with displaced families in Sudan and Ethiopia and warned of the regional implications of ignoring the crisis, as people who have already fled Sudan now aim for Libya, Tunisia and then Europe. “I have warned literally European countries that if the current neglect of this crisis continues, we will see secondary movements,” Mr. Grandi added.
Sudan’s middle class has been largely impacted by the urban devastation, people that from one day to the other had their lives upended. Although they are eager to go back home and resume their activities, people are becoming more and more wary, the High Commissioner for Refugees said: “When you ask people, ‘Would you go back if there was a ceasefire?’, they think carefully about the answer. ‘We would have to be convinced that there is a real peace and that the militia is not going to come into our house and kick us out again.’ The message that I passed and will continue to pass to the two leaderships (of Sudan) is, ‘You're losing your own people. What's the purpose of fighting if you don't have people to rule?’”
The conflict is estimated to have killed more than 13,000 people and over 10 million people have been displaced. Sudan’s rival militias shared power after longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir was toppled in a popular uprising in 2019. Conflict erupted last April after a power struggle developed between the two military factions amid a faltering transition towards elections and civilian-led government. The fighting has continued to escalate despite international efforts to reach a ceasefire.