Sudan Conference: Despite positive takeaways, the ongoing humanitarian crisis demands continued efforts, attention and vigilance

Published on Tuesday 16 April 2024


We welcome the organisation of the “International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbors” by France, Germany and the European Union, crucial to bring the war in Sudan back to the forefront of global attention and political agendas.

As the world watches with apathy and silence, the Sudanese people continue to suffer. The humanitarian situation in the region is catastrophic, with nearly 30 million people facing hunger, diseases, and forced displacement. The economy, and basic services are collapsing. In that regard, the Conference was crucial for accelerating financial commitments and political will.  

While we appreciate pledges and expressions of support, we are concerned for the people affected by this crisis, which is showing no signs of improvement. 

Reactions from Kevin Goldberg, CEO of SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL

who took the floor on behalf of the INGO community during the conference:  

“Even if the full funding request had been met, the resources would have struggled to meet the immense needs. In Sudan, we’re talking about an estimated 24.8 million people requiring assistance. Nearly half of the population! Furthermore, there’s a possibility that some of the pledged funds aren’t entirely new, but rather reallocated from previous allocations. The crisis demands new resources to be readily available for disbursement. What is more, if humanitarian aid is vital, it can’t be the only answer. Donors urgently need to re-invest in development assistance in the region to build the resilience of the communities and their systems in the face of this protracted crisis. The European Commission commitments offered a positive example on that front”.  

“Securing funding is crucial, but it’s not enough. With no peace deal in sight, we need unimpeded access to deliver aid, and we must also strengthen diplomatic pressure to achieve this. Right now, bureaucratic hurdles, visa restrictions, insufficient border crossing points, and ongoing violence continue to severely restrict our ability to support effectively the people who need assistance. All parties to conflict must respect the international humanitarian law and protect civilians and humanitarian workers. Many statements from Government representatives were encouraging in that regards, and the global efforts must be continued after the conference.”  

“Let’s not forget the ripple effect of this crisis. Sudan’s instability threatens the entire region. That’s why a more coordinated and comprehensive international response is crucial to effectively address the crisis. Over 1.8 million people have fled since April 2023, seeking refuge in already fragile neighbors, facing their own humanitarian and economic challenges – Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic. The displacement crisis is becoming increasingly protracted, with many refugees now living in limbo for months, for years. We need to move beyond temporary solutions and work towards durable solutions that allow them to rebuild their lives with dignity.”  

Let’s not forget that the worst may be yet to come. People in Sudan and the region cannot afford to wait. The cost of inaction is simply too high: the longer humanitarian access is restricted, and the crisis deepens, the more people will require assistance.”


Note to editors:  

Sudan is “the world’s fastest-growing displacement crisis”. Within its borders, over 6.5 million people have been internally displaced, forced to flee their homes in search of safety. The country already hosted over 1 million refugees before the current conflict, the second-highest refugee population in Africa. A total of 1.8 million people is displaced outside Sudan’s borders. In total, the conflict has displaced a staggering 8.5 million people, as of April 15, 2024.  

The conference yielded only half of the combined $4.01 billion requested by the United Nations: $1.4 billion for a Regional Refugee Response Plan to assist 2.7 million people in five neighboring nations, and $2.7 billion for a Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan targeting 14.7 million people -while 24.8 million are in need- within Sudan. 

The massive scale of the crisis in Sudan and the region, with nearly 30 million in need of assistance, necessitates a substantial aid effort. Several factors significantly complicate and inflate the cost of this response.

  • Volatile security: Delivering aid is dangerous and expensive due to the unpredictable security situation. Resources are required to mitigate these risks and ensure the safety of humanitarian workers.
  • Logistical challenges: Poor infrastructure and limited access to conflict-affected areas significantly increase transportation costs for personnel and supplies.
  • Economic burdens: High inflation, a weakened currency, and disrupted supply chains have driven up the price of basic necessities in Sudan and neighboring countries, further straining the resources needed to meet the needs of the population