by Faye Callaghan
The recent outbreak of violence in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan has left hundreds injured and thousands displaced. As the only humanitarian organisation left in state capital Kadugli, the Sudanese Red Crescent has responded with life saving first aid and is looking after those who fled from their homes.
“We are very proud of our volunteers for their dedication,” said Rahama Mohamed Ibrahim, the Sudanese Red Crescent’s disaster management director. “They were the first on the ground to serve the affected people, evacuate the injured and wounded, deal with the dead bodies, provide first aid services and distribute food and non-food items.”
The violence comes just weeks before Southern Sudan declares independence and becomes the world’s newest nation.
“The situation in Kadugli is critical, all the citizens have now fled, mostly to the neighboring state of North Kordofan,” continued Rahama Mohamed Ibrahim. “Our emergency action teams were the first on the scene and will work around the clock to provide services to all in need.”
The Sudanese Red Crescent estimates that up to 40,000 people have been displaced from Kadugli town, with many seeking refuge near the United Nations compound. As well as transporting the injured to hospital, volunteers have been providing psychosocial support to those traumatised by the events.
Dietrich Fischer, IFRC country representative in Sudan, said National Society volunteers had been working with the World Food Programme to distribute food to over 4,000 people in ten sites. “There has been a very swift response to the incident, despite the difficulties in accessing the rural populations. The teams in South Kordofan have had to deal with many conflicts so they are well trained and well equipped,” he said.
Thousands of blankets, mosquito nets and buckets, provided by partners, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been distributed to those left sleeping out in the open. But the Sudanese Red Crescent is now looking for support in setting up water supplies and mobile clinics. It will also need to buy additional body bags, materials for building emergency shelters, emergency food and household items.