What is happening in Sudan?
The latest updates on the situation in Sudan
Last updated 7 June 2023
In April 2023, fighting broke out in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Over 400 people are reported to have died, while a further 3,700 have been injured.
In a region of the world that has suffered from years of hardship and instability, this flare-up of violence could worsen an already huge humanitarian crisis.
The conflict has been escalating in other areas of the country, including North Darfur, North Kordofan, South Darfur, Kassala and Gedaref.
In Khartoum, many people are currently left without water and electricity. With civilians leaving the affected areas, it is believed that between 10,000 and 20,000 refugees are arriving from Sudan in neighbouring Chad.
The events in Sudan will likely have a ripple effect throughout the region, with people fleeing to countries that include Ethiopia, which is among several African countries currently experiencing the worst food crisis in 40 years.
British Red Cross support for people arriving from Sudan
British Red Cross volunteers and staff are providing support for people arriving in the UK from Sudan. Emergency response volunteers have been deployed to Stansted Airport to help people who have been evacuated from the country following the outbreak of conflict.
“People returning to the UK from Sudan have had their lives turned upside down, they need to be supported and to feel safe," says Chris Davies, head of crisis response. "Working closely with partners, British Red Cross volunteers will be there to meet them as they arrive in the UK. They will provide practical and emotional support at this vital time."
How the Red Cross Red Crescent is helping in Sudan
In Khartoum, the Sudanese Red Crescent is leading the humanitarian and relief response, with staff and trained volunteers currently deployed to help assist in search and rescue operations, evacuations, and supporting hospitals across seven areas considered to be high risk.
With 40,000 volunteers in 18 branches around the country, the Sudanese Red Crescent is the largest humanitarian organisation on the ground and has so far provided more than 40,000 meals and food parcels, 24,000 first aid and medical treatments, and evacuated 740 wounded people. The Sudanese Red Crescent is also conducting safe and dignified burials for those who lost their lives.
But weeks into the conflict, their resources have been depleted, prompting the International Committee of the Red Cross to double its emergency appeal target.
“Without this support, the people of Sudan will suffer grave humanitarian impacts as they will simply not be able to meet their basic needs and the consequences will be severe," said the Sudanese Red Crescent's secretary-general Aida Elsayed. "The fighting shows no signs of slowing down and the human toll continues to grow every day."
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the Ministry of Health in Khartoum to support hospitals treating those injured in the clashes. The WHO has warned that several of the nine hospitals receiving patients in Khartoum have run out of blood, transfusion equipment, and other vital supplies.
Where is Sudan?
Sudan is located in north-eastern Africa, to the south of Egypt. The country is also bordered by Chad, Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent in Sudan
The ICRC has been present in Sudan since 1978, supporting people affected by conflict in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Today, teams from the ICRC support hospitals and health facilities with equipment and supplies, improving access to clean water, and providing displaced people in conflict-affected areas with emergency assistance.
Red Cross Red Crescent staff – and any civilians who remain in Khartoum – must be protected from hostilities and the ICRC is urgently looking for ways to deploy additional personnel and supplies to Khartoum and other affected regions.
The British Red Cross has had an ongoing programme partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent and the Danish Red Cross in Sudan since 2018. The aim of the partnership is to support the most vulnerable women and girls at entry points and refugee camps in the country.
We are keeping close contact with our colleagues at the Sudanese Red Crescent and the Danish Red Cross, to monitor and assess the situation as it unfolds. You can read more about the programme here.
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