“For three months, the people of Sudan have endured unspeakable suffering amid violence that is tearing their country apart,” the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said Saturday.
“As the conflict enters its fourth month, the battle lines are hardening, making it increasingly difficult to reach the millions of people who need urgent humanitarian aid,” added Martin Griffiths.
More than three million people have been displaced by the conflict, both within Sudan and across its borders. The fighting, which broke out in mid-April, has claimed the lives of more than 1,100 people and injured more than 12,000, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the UN (OCHA).
Health workers and facilities have also been attacked, severely limiting access for those in need, and with the onset of the rainy season the risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases and other vectors is increasing, compounded by management problems. of waste and shortage of supplies.
Children are among the most affected, with an estimated 13.6 million, about half of those remaining in Sudan, in urgent need of help.
The hardest place in the world
Describing Sudan as “one of the most difficult places in the world for humanitarian workers”, Griffiths highlighted the collaborative efforts of local organizations and international aid groups in delivering vital supplies.
However, such work cannot be carried out when humanitarian workers themselves are in danger.
“We cannot work under the barrel of a gun. We cannot replenish stocks of food, water and medicine if brazen looting continues. We cannot deliver if our staff are prevented from reaching people in need.”
Griffiths added that ultimately the suffering of the Sudanese will only end when the fighting stops, and called on the parties to the conflict to honor the Declaration of Commitments they signed in Jeddah to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law.
Misery increases every day
Every day that the fighting continues, the misery of Sudanese civilians increases.
Drawing attention to the recent discovery of mass graves in West Darfur, Griffiths highlighted fears of a resurgence of ethnic killings in the region.
“Every day the fighting continues, the misery for Sudanese civilians increases. […] We must all redouble our efforts to ensure that the conflict in Sudan does not escalate into a brutal and endless civil war with grave consequences for the region,” the coordinator stressed.
“The people of Sudan cannot afford to wait,” he concluded.