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Australian aid peak calls for sustained funding for Sudan amid global appeal

Feb 8, 2024 | Media Releases

Australia’s peak body for international aid and humanitarian assistance calls upon the Australian Government to invest in critical, life-saving funding for Sudan amid a United Nations global appeal. 

Today, the UN urged countries not to forget the millions of people who are at extreme risk in the war between rival militaries. The appeal calls for USD $4.1 billion to stave off the risk of famine and assist those who have fled to neighbouring countries. 

According to Martin Griffiths, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, “half of Sudan’s population, 25 million people, need humanitarian assistance”.

ACFID’s Chief of Executive Officer, Marc Purcell, said: “Australia should urgently provide a strong contribution to the global appeal to assist with rising hunger, dehydration and disease. Any funding that the Australian Government provides will support essential life-saving humanitarian assistance. The people of Sudan must not be forgotten.

“The parties to the conflict must ensure that all humanitarian staff, facilities and supplies are protected from attacks. Humanitarian actors must be able to carry out their work, unimpeded.”

ACFID’s Humanitarian Advisor Naomi Brooks said: “All actors must uphold international law and stop attacks against civilians. The safe delivery of humanitarian aid is essential.”

Amad Mohamed, SAAN’s Policy & Publications Officer at the Sudanese Australian Advocacy Network said: “We urge the Australian government to significantly increase its assistance to Sudan, demonstrating leadership and compassion in the face of what has become the world’s biggest displacement crisis.”

“With over half of Sudan’s population in desperate need of aid and millions displaced, both within and beyond its borders, this crisis requires immediate and generous global attention.”

Australian NGOs are providing vital humanitarian assistance in Sudan. We call on the Australian Government to support their work in any future humanitarian funding contributions.  

The global appeal comprises two key components: A USD $2.7 billion Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan targeting 14.7 million people within Sudan and a USD $1.4 billion Regional Refugee Response Plan aimed at assisting 2.7 million people in five neighbouring nations.

ACFID has been calling on the government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund to be doubled to $300 million per year, to accurately reflect the growing number and scale of disasters and conflicts each year, in our immediate region and beyond.

Australian Humanitarian NGOs responding to the crisis can be found at the ACFID appeals page, here.  

Background

Sudan has been in the grips of a violent civil conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 2023, with the UN continuing to voice concern at the escalating humanitarian situation. In that time there have been reports of conflict-related sexual violence, indiscriminate attacks against civilians, forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, arms trafficking and more.  

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), at least 12,000 people have been killed and 33,000 others injured. This death toll is likely to be much higher, with a report from the United Nations Panel of Experts, suggesting 15,000 civilians were killed in one city alone. OCHA also notes that over 11 million people have been displaced, making Sudan the largest internal displacement crisis globally. 

Further, Sudanese civilians face malnutrition, water scarcity, and a lack of access to essential healthcare, sanitation and shelter. A child is dying from malnutrition every 2 hours in a single refugee camp in Darfur, a region of Western Sudan.

The aid & humanitarian sector is working to offer assistance and protection to affected people and communities and continues to call on all parties to cease hostilities, to uphold international law and protect civilians, including health and humanitarian aid workers.    

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