The Vital Role of Humanitarian Organizations in Supporting Sudan

By Dr. Muhammad Khalifa Siddiq July 09, 2024 69

 

Since the outbreak of war in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, on April 15, 2023, until today, humanitarian organizations have been unable to effectively carry out relief operations in the country. This is due to the collapse of state institutions and the deterioration or even lack of basic services in areas controlled by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The departure of some humanitarian organizations has also left a significant gap, exacerbating the suffering of millions of Sudanese in need of essential humanitarian aid.

According to the United Nations, approximately 25 million people—more than half of Sudan's population—require humanitarian assistance. About 3.8 million children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, with thousands of deaths reported. The country is on the brink of famine, and infrastructure in many cities, including the capital, Khartoum, has been destroyed. Over 8.5 million people have been displaced, with around one million Sudanese seeking refuge in neighboring countries and the rest internally displaced. (1)

 

United Nations: 25 million Sudanese are in need of aid, with 3.8 million children suffering from malnutrition.

Foreign organizations, such as the United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders, among others, have continued to operate in Sudan despite challenging conditions, severe funding shortages, and being targeted, along with their staff. Arab and Islamic organizations have also made significant contributions, notably Qatar and Qatari organizations like the Qatar Fund for Development, Qatar Red Crescent Society, and Qatar Charity. These entities have secured substantial humanitarian aid, including the distribution of 50,000 food baskets to war-affected states in Sudan through Qatar Charity and the Qatar Fund for Development.

In addition to their efforts in the food and health sectors, the Qatar Red Crescent Society, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Humanitarian Aid Commission in Northern State, partnered with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to distribute both food and non-food items in Northern State. This assistance targets war-affected populations in the cities of Dongola and Argo, focusing on displaced persons in shelters as well as teachers, journalists, medical personnel, and persons with disabilities. The aid consists of essential food items such as sugar, cooking oil, rice, lentils, and flour. Dr. Salah Daak, Head of the Qatar Red Crescent Office in Sudan, mentioned that the distributed aid included 600 food baskets. (2)

 

Kuwait and Charity Work in Sudan

Additionally, Kuwait and Kuwaiti organizations have made significant efforts in providing aid through various entities, including the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, Kuwait Society for Relief, and others. The “Kuwait Is By Your Side” campaign was active in organizing an airlift bridge to deliver humanitarian aid to those affected by the war in Sudan. Kuwait's initial airlift for the Sudanese affected commenced in May 2023, with over 20 aircraft participating in the operation. On April 22, last year, the seventeenth aircraft carrying 40 tons of aid arrived at Port Sudan Airport, welcomed by Kuwait's Ambassador to Sudan, Dr. Fahad Al-Thafeeri, and mission members alongside the Sudanese Deputy Minister of Health.

 

The Kuwaiti airlift bridge in the “Kuwait Is By Your Side” campaign reached over 20 aircraft.

 Ambassador Dr. Fahad Al-Thafeeri expressed his gratitude to the Kuwait Society for Relief and Kuwaiti charitable organizations for their contributions in sending aid, including medicines, medical supplies, ambulances, and food items. The Kuwaiti relief effort coincided with the reopening of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Sudan from Port Sudan city. (3)

Additionally, the League of Arab States, represented by its Council of Arab Health Ministers in cooperation with the Arab Republic of Egypt, delivered tons of life-saving medicines via three military transport planes from East Cairo Airbase to Port Sudan Airport. The Egyptian government also conducted an ongoing airlift bridge over several days, carrying relief supplies to support and show solidarity with the Sudanese people amidst various crises and hardships. This included five military transport planes loaded with tons of relief aid, comprising large quantities of tents, blankets, food, medicines, and medical supplies from the Egyptian Ministries of Defense, Health, and Population to alleviate the burdens on Sudanese people due to the war. (4)

 

The Required Role of Relief Organizations

Arab and Islamic charitable and relief organizations must continue and expand their significant efforts in Sudan. The war persists with its expanding scope, leading to daily increases in displacement and migration rates due to attacks by the “Rapid Support Forces” militias and their collaborators. Especially with the arrival of autumn and the rainy season, there is an urgent need for tents, plastic sheets to protect against rain, and the provision of food and medicine for autumn diseases. This should be done in collaboration with the Sudanese Ministry of Health and medical organizations such as the Kuwaiti Patient Helping Fund in Sudan, Al-Basar International Foundation, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, and others.

Charitable and relief organizations should capitalize on the stability in several areas of Sudan unaffected by the war to provide food needs to support the local economy, encourage stability, and revitalize markets amid the high costs of airlifting aid. Additionally, locally produced food items in Sudan are accepted across various regions, unlike imported ones.

 

It is necessary for Arab and Islamic charitable and relief organizations to continue their relief work and support for Sudan.

The ongoing war in Sudan has necessitated prioritizing charitable activities and initiatives, especially emergency relief projects for those affected across wide areas of the country. This includes distributing food supplies, providing temporary shelter, and offering healthcare. Supporting orphans and disadvantaged families economically and psychologically is crucial, encompassing comprehensive care and necessary aid to improve their living conditions. Additionally, rehabilitating schools and educational centers in war-affected areas is essential to ensuring educational opportunities for children and youth. Thousands of schools have been affected by indiscriminate shelling and looting, impacting educational institutions ranging from universities to schools and beyond. (5)

Charitable and relief organizations must also intensify efforts to establish agricultural and environmental projects. Millions of Sudanese have lost their livelihoods due to war, systematic displacement and destruction of infrastructure, and looting. There is an urgent need to implement sustainable agricultural projects and environmental protection initiatives aimed at improving living standards and conserving natural resources. Awareness and education programs in various fields such as health, environment, human rights, and combating hate speech are also crucial. These programs aim to raise awareness and foster positive behavioral changes in the community.

 

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  1. Paris Conference on Sudan: Macron says world donors pledge more than €2 billion in aid for war-stricken Sudan, France 24.
  2. Humanitarian aid from Qatar Red Crescent for war-affected people in Northern Sudan, Sudan News Agency, December 9, 2023.
  3. Kuwait resumes its airlift to provide humanitarian aid to war-affected people in Sudan, Sagia Press, April 23, 2024.
  4. Dalia Othman, Egypt sends 5 planes of relief aid to Sudan upon directives from Sisi, Al-Masry Al-Youm, August 17, 2022.
  5. Walid Al-Bassam, Charities and Achieving Development, Kuwaiti Al-Mujtama Magazine, May 14, 2024.

 

Read the Article in Arabic

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 July 2024 17:06