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UN humanitarian chief concludes mission to Sudan

25 Nov 2019

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Humanitarian needs are increasing in Sudan, with more than 8.5 million people needing assistance. Credit: OCHA/Saviano Abreu

At the end of a two-day mission to Sudan, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock yesterday called on the international community to act faster to scale up humanitarian support to the country.

“It is a crucial time for Sudan and we must make sure that people have their most basic needs met. The international community needs urgently to step up its support,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said at the end of the mission, his first visit to Sudan since the formation of a transitional Government in August 2019.

While conflict is still a major driver of humanitarian needs in Sudan, incidents have significantly reduced in recent years. The deepening economic crisis, the climate crisis and pockets of violence also continue to drive humanitarian needs.

More than 8.5 million people require food, nutrition, protection or other assistance to survive and millions of others struggle to make ends meet. These numbers are projected to rise. Years of conflict have left nearly 2 million people displaced in the Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas of Sudan.

During a visit to Kassala, in eastern Sudan, Mr. Lowcock met local communities that have been affected by recent economic and climate shocks and recurrent disease outbreaks.

During meetings with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, members of the Government and the Sovereign Council, the humanitarian chief welcomed the country’s commitment to improve access for humanitarian organizations to reach people in need and acknowledged the positive steps taken thus far.

The UN is also encouraged by the priority the Government is placing on peacebuilding and conflict resolution across the country.