Tuesday July 18, 2023

More than 3 million people have now fled their homes since fighting broke out in Sudan three months ago, in one of the fastest growing displacement crises in recent years.

Thousands of people a day continue to flee the intense violence and shortages of food and medicine since the conflict erupted in Khartoum on 15 April. As the crisis reaches the three-month mark, Islamic Relief is urging the international community not to forget the crisis and step up efforts to provide aid and reach a lasting ceasefire.

Elsadig Elnour, Islamic Relief’s Country Director in Sudan, says:

With more than 3 million people fleeing their homes in just three months this is among the worst displacement crises of the 21st century. We’re witnessing unimaginable suffering for civilians across Sudan.

“More people are dying daily. Homes and markets are in ruins and young children are dying from diseases that should be preventable and treatable. The fighting has disrupted the annual planting season and as a result we expect many people to face extreme hunger in the coming months. We’re already seeing rising numbers of malnourished children in need of urgent care. Many schools are shut and there are increasing risks of sexual violence against women and girls. 

“The situation is more urgent than ever and we pray the international community doesn’t forget about us.”

Many Islamic Relief staff are among the millions of people displaced. Mr Elnour himself had to leave his home in Khartoum as fighting intensified nearby, and he and his team now run operations from Gedaref in the east of the country.

The vast majority of displaced people (more than 2.4m) have taken refuge within Sudan, sheltering with relatives or local families or in crowded and rapidly growing camps that are increasing risk of disease. Over 737,000 others have crossed Sudan’s borders into neighbouring countries like Egypt and Chad.

Aid agencies are doing everything possible to deliver aid and so far Islamic Relief has provided aid such as food and healthcare to more than 70,000 people and is running treatment centres for the rising numbers of malnourished children.

But humanitarian access inside Sudan remains limited, with extreme insecurity resulting in at least 15 aid workers killed and more than 120 humanitarian premises raided or looted. Bureaucratic impediments imposed by the authorities also continue to disrupt the response.

Islamic Relief is calling on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians from harm, make a genuine commitment to peace talks, and allow safe humanitarian access to people in need.

The three months of fighting has killed civilians, destroyed infrastructure and left many people in daily fear for their lives. In Darfur there are reports of armed groups looting homes and banks, stealing what little food civilians have left and shooting people in the street. More than 1,100 people are now reportedly killed and around 12,000 injured across the country.

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