The European Commission announced that 30 tons of essential goods had already been flown to Port Sudan in the east of the country on Tuesday. There the cargo – including water, sanitary facilities, hygiene articles and equipment for emergency shelters – was handed over to UNICEF and the UN World Food Program. The two sub-organizations of the United Nations (UN) are to organize the distribution. It is about supporting the most vulnerable.
The EU said it also provides financial support to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, such as providing first aid, evacuation services and psychosocial support. The money for this will be provided separately – in addition to the 73 million euros that have already been allocated to Sudan for humanitarian aid in 2023.
The EU reiterated that the parties to the conflict are urged to fully comply with international humanitarian law. In addition to protecting the civilian population, this also means that the protection of helpers, their facilities and goods must be guaranteed. “Medical workers and humanitarian workers must be able to provide life-saving assistance,” said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Protection Janez Lenarcic.
The airlift is organized under the European Humanitarian Aid Capacity, an EU instrument designed to fill gaps in response to natural and man-made disasters. The aid material that has now been delivered comes from the stocks of the United Nations.
UN: Power struggle in Sudan could starve nearly 20 million people
The UN’s World Food Program fears a drastic increase in hunger in Sudan. The World Food Program (WFP) in Rome warned that up to 2.5 million people could slip into starvation in the coming months as a result of the fighting. More than 19 million people, two fifths of the population, would then have to starve.
“The already dire situation is developing into a humanitarian catastrophe,” said EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi on Tuesday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Since the conflict began, more than 500 people have been killed and 6,000 injured in the capital Khartoum alone. “The situation in the peripheral areas, especially in Darfur, is even more dramatic and is hardly noticed by the public,” said Várhelyi.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since the outbreak of fighting in Sudan, around 1,000 refugees have arrived every day in the Ethiopian city of Metema alone
The background to the violence is a power struggle that escalated in mid-April between army chief General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan and the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The opponents have already agreed on ceasefires several times, but these have been broken again and again. According to the UN, more than 700,000 people have already fled the fighting.
cw/uh (dpa, epd)