More than $3 bn needed for aid in Sudan, Sudanese refugees: UN

More than $3 bn needed for aid in Sudan, Sudanese refugees: UN
Sudanese people flee war/ AFP


The United Nations said Wednesday that $3.03 billion would be needed to provide urgent aid to people in conflict-ravaged Sudan and to over one million expected to flee into neighbouring countries this year.

Needs have soared since a bloody conflict erupted in Sudan on April 15, the UN said, revising up its response plan for the country.

"Today, 25 million people -- more than half the population of Sudan -- needs humanitarian aid and protection," Ramesh Rajasingham, head of the UN humanitarian agency's Geneva bureau, told reporters.

Battles erupted on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Around 1,000 people have been killed, mainly in and around Khartoum as well as the ravaged state of West Darfur, according to medics.

The fighting has deepened the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, where one in three people already relied on humanitarian assistance before the war.

The UN said a full $2.56 billion is now expected to be needed to provide assistance inside Sudan -- up from the $1.75 billion estimated at the end of last year.

Those funds will allow aid agencies to reach 18 million of the most vulnerable people inside the country, Rajasingham said.

At the same time, the UN refugee agency said $470.4 million would be needed to assist those fleeing the country, adding that it was now planning for up to 1.1 million people to cross out of Sudan this year alone.

Just two weeks ago, UNHCR had said it would need $445 million through October to address the needs of as many as 860,000 people who might flee the country.

"So far, the crisis, which has just started a month ago, resulted in massive outflows into neighbouring countries of about 220,000 refugees and returnees who have been seeking safety in Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Central African Republic and Ethiopia," Raouf Mezou, assistant chief of operations at the UN refugee agency UNHCR told reporters.

In addition, more than 700,000 people have been displaced inside Sudan by the fighting.

"Countless people remain trapped and terrified inside Sudan, innocent victims of this indiscriminate fighting," Mezou said.

At the same time, "those who have fled across the country's many borders are shattered, often having left behind or lost loved ones and finding themselves in places where access is extremely hard and resources are minimal."