War-torn Sudan faces uphill task as UN runs out of funds
Sudan, a country torn apart by conflict, is facing an uphill battle as the United Nations runs out of funds. The situation is dire, with the UN only being able to help a fraction of the nearly 25 million people in need. According to Clementine Nkweta-Salami, the head of the UN’s humanitarian response in Sudan, even assistance to those four million people could soon stop if the chronic lack of funding continues. This has led aid workers to call it the “forgotten war.”
The conflict in Sudan began eight months ago when rival generals, Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, turned against each other. Since then, their forces have brutally fought for power, resulting in the deaths of over 12,190 people. However, this estimate is considered conservative, as there are parts of the country completely cut off from the world.
In addition to the casualties, there are seven million people displaced in Sudan, making it the highest displacement situation globally. Despite the scale of the crisis, the humanitarian response remains severely underfunded. Nkweta-Salami stated that they have only received 38.6 percent of the total $2.6 billion needed for 2023. She warned that there will come a time when even if they have physical access to the affected areas, they will not have the resources to provide the necessary assistance.
Sudan’s tragedy has been overshadowed by other conflicts, such as the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, leading to a lack of attention and resources. Jan Egeland, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, expressed his astonishment at the lack of aid reaching the people in their time of greatest need. He described the situation as a “horrific mega-catastrophe.”
Both Egeland and Nkweta-Salami acknowledge the enormity of the gaps in aid. The UN representative stated that they are facing a population of approximately 24.7 million people in need, with their goal being to reach around 18 million. The challenges faced include health, water and sanitation, food, and malnutrition.
In recent times, the UN has managed to regain limited access to areas of Darfur, Sudan’s vast western region, through Chad. The UN has warned of the potential for “genocide” in Darfur. Additionally, diplomatic tensions have risen, with Sudan expelling 15 UAE diplomats, accusing the United Arab Emirates of supporting the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who have been linked to Darfur’s Janjaweed militia.
Overall, the situation in war-torn Sudan is dire, with millions of people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The lack of attention and funding has left Sudan on the brink of a catastrophic situation, and urgent action is needed to address this ongoing crisis.
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