In Sudan, safety of volunteers critical to addressing complex crisis of conflict and climate change
By Rita Nyaga
IFRC senior communications officer
In the early morning of Saturday, 15 April 2023, the city of Khartoum woke up to the sound of gunfire and explosions. Up to two million people fled the city and became displaced either within Sudan or in neighouring countries.
As the conflict in Sudan enters its seventh month, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) continues to support many impacted by the fighting through a network of more than 2,000 volunteers in 18 branches spread across the country.
Before fighting started, the socio-economic, political, and security situation in Sudan was already very tense, impacting the work of volunteers directly and indirectly. With the onset of conflict, the effort to keep them safe, secure and motivated became more critical than ever.
“Safety is the matter of life and death,” says Nagat Farah Khairi, national volunteer coordinator for the SRCS. “ Ensuring the safety and security of staff and volunteers therefore is one of the SRCS’ top priorities.”
“Fortunately, prior to the eruption of war in April 2023, three training courses were organized and attended by more than one hundred volunteers, who received and refreshed their knowledge on safety and security,” Nagat says. “That resulted in them being able to practice it and remain safe in the frontlines of crisis and to continue the provision of humanitarian support. "
These are some of the reasons that volunteer safety and security was one of twelve thematic areas of the SRCS’s ongoing Transformation Process. A total of 111 volunteers attended the training from all states, which took place in May 2022 with support from the Swedish Red Cross.
This training course also aimed to improve the quality and ensure accountability in all aspects of the SRCS’s work with volunteers, strengthening its ability to mobilize, recruit, protect, maintain, and develop its volunteers network.
Six months on, work continues with insufficient funds
Thus, by the time fighting begun, the lessons from this training could be put into practice. Meanwhile, just over six months into the conflict, SRCS volunteers continue to work to ease the plight of people impacted by the conflict. Many of the residents who were left behind in Khartoum and could not afford to leave, have now been locked down for months in a deteriorating situation. They suffer from significant reductions in essential goods and services such as health care, power, water and food. For those who consider leaving, families sometimes must choose whether to leave the elderly behind or remain with them.
People are also being hit by the effects of erratic climate patterns that are also impacting many parts of Africa, resulting in widespread food insecurity, drought and sporadic flooding.
In response, IFRC has launched two appeals to provide support for people now in very vulnerable situations.
• An emergency appeal for CHF 60 million to support the SRCS in scaling up their life-saving activities within the country.
• A regional appeal of CHF 42 million to support the humanitarian response in neighboring countries, including Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and Libya.
Currently, these appeals are largely underfunded with only nine and eight percent respectively. The funds are critical to allowing the volunteers, who are now well experienced in working in this challenging environment, to carry out their essential work supporting communities.
“The SRCS recognizes and values volunteering as a means of creating and supporting community members and who are available to offer support and work in the frontline during emergencies”, says Nagat. “At the SRCS, we value all volunteers for their individual contributions, enthusiasm, and commitment, as well as for the experience and skills they bring onboard”.
| Press release
Humanitarian needs in Sudan grow as funding gap widens, IFRC warns
Geneva/Nairobi/Port Sudan, 16 October 2023: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) issues an urgent call for international support as Sudan's humanitarian crisis intensifies, and the funding gap widens.
Since the conflict started in Sudan six months ago, it has resulted in the displacement of over 5.8 million people within Sudan and neighboring countries. The ongoing conflict has resulted in many families dealing with the loss of loved ones, and others facing the challenges of separation. The fighting has also put immense strain on services, where people are grappling not only with severe food shortages but also limited access to clean water, inadequate healthcare and shelter.
Despite logistical challenges, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society operates in all Sudanese states, of which over 2,000 are actively responding to the crisis. Additionally, outside Sudan, Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies are operating service centers at key border points, providing vital services such as psychosocial support, medication, first aid, food and family reunification assistance to those fleeing the conflict.
Aida Elsayed, Secretary General of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society said:
“Many partners have come in to give technical and financial support, but the needs now outweigh the support, and we humbly request more assistance. Many Sudanese residents have crossed into neighboring countries to start life afresh. Those that have remained continue to experience the pain of separation, sickness, lack of food and water, and much more. We must act urgently and get support to meet humanitarian needs and save as many lives as possible.”
However, today, the humanitarian situation in Sudan is exacerbated by climate disasters, including floods and drought, as well as worsening economic conditions. In addition, there are health-related issues such as dengue and measles outbreaks, which are adding pressure to an already fragile healthcare sector. This further emphasizes the need for continued support.
Farid Aiywar, IFRC Head of Delegation in Sudan, said:
“Despite the logistical challenges that the Sudanese Red Crescent Society has experienced while implementing lifesaving activities in Sudan, the staff and volunteers are continuing to offer hope and support. They have been active within communities since the first day of the fighting.”
"While we deeply appreciate the support we've garnered, both technical and financial, from our partners, the magnitude of the current needs far outstrips the assistance at hand. A significant number of Sudanese are relocating to neighboring countries in search of a fresh start. However, for those remaining, the challenges - from family separation to health concerns and shortage of basic necessities - are overwhelming. Our collective imperative is clear: to address these surging humanitarian needs and to ensure the dignity of those affected."
IFRC launched two appeals to provide support for this crisis. A 60 million Swiss Francs appeal for Sudan to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in scaling up their life-saving activities within the country. Meanwhile, a regional appeal of 42 million Swiss Francs to support the humanitarian response in neighboring countries, including Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and Libya. Currently, these appeals are largely underfunded with only 9 percent of the Sudan appeal and 8 percent of the population movement appeal raised.
For more information
For more information, visit the IFRC website to support the Sudan Emergency appeal and the Population Movement appeal.
For interview requests, please contact: [email protected]
Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 4367
Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 5006
Rita Nyaga: +254 110 837154
| Press release
“From satellites to sandbags”: Putting water at the heart of climate action.
Geneva, 22 September 2023 -As proved so tragically in Libya last week, while water holds the key to life, alltoo often it kills.
Whether – like in Derna - it’s too much water leading to floods, or too little water causing droughts, or polluted water resulting in health risks, addressing the dangers that water poses can save lives. As climate change intensifies these threats, there is an urgent need for action.
That is why a new collaboration matters so much.
With funding and support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands ‘Water at the Heart of Climate Action’ is an ambitious partnership between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), The Netherlands Red Cross, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF).
This collaboration will combine local knowledge and global technology to help communities understand and act on the water-related risks they face - before they become disasters. The programme is focused on supporting the countries of Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan,and Uganda, which make up the Nile River basin. These countries are not only among the Least Developed Countries in the world but are also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. To ensure the implementation of this five-year partnership, the Government of the Netherlands has generously committed 52 million Swiss Francs (55 million euros).
The aim of the ‘Water at the Heart’ collaboration is to address climate-related risks that too often fall between the cracks of most country-level water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) policies. It will focus on practical, locally-driven action to better anticipate disasters and prepare communities well in advance. It will also use the latest science and technology to monitor and forecast weather and water-related hazards. It furthermore invests in communications technologies to warn communities of what is coming and enable early action. As a result, this programme is a direct contribution to the implementation of the UN Secretary General’s ‘Early Warnings for All’ initiative.
Jagan Chapagain, the Secretary General of the IFRC said:
“Water is life. But too much or too little water can wreak havoc on people’s lives and homes. Almost three-quarters of all recent humanitarian disasters were water related. This initiative makes mitigation of the impact of such disasters an absolute priority. With thousands of IFRC network volunteers across South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda, the IFRC network is uniquely positioned to deliver innovative and trusted local action. Through our partners, those actions can be informed by technology including the best forecasting and observation. This really is a ‘sandbags to satellites’ all-encompassing initiative.”
Mami Mizutori, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the head of UNDRR said:
“To save lives, lift people out of poverty and ensure that development gains are sustainable and irreversible, we must stop hazards from becoming disasters. Water at the Heart of Climate Action is a demonstration of the commitment of the Netherlands to helping some of the most vulnerable countries build their resilience in the face of climate change.”
Maarten van Aalst, Director General of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) said:
“As a national Meteorological Institute, we see the rapid increase in weather extremes in our changing climate, and we realize that we need partnerships all across society to make sure our warnings lead to early actions. The Netherlands’ vulnerability as a low-lying delta is significantly reduced by the power of good data and predictions, and the ability to act on that information — from satellites to sandbags. Water at the heart will strengthen our peers in the Global South to deliver similar services, and KNMI is proud to be supporting those efforts with peer support.”
WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas said:
“The majority of hazards are water-related, particularly floods and droughts. Climate change will further increase the frequency and severity of these events. End-to-end early warning systems are critical to save lives and minimize the impact of disasters. WMO is working with SOFF to close the basic weather and climate observation data gap and strengthen the foundational element of better data for better forecasts. Water at the Heart of Climate Action will make a tangible contribution to the Early Warnings for All initiative.”
Paul Bekkers, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, WTO and other international organizations in Geneva, said:
“Water should not be posing risks to vulnerable frontline communities! On the contrary, we can empower communities to transform water from a hazard into a valuable resource. By leveraging indigenous knowledge and investing in early warning systems. The Netherlands proudly supports this partnership that places the needs of local communities at the heart of water action!”
REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE TALKING ABOUT ‘WATER AT THE HEART’ AT THE UN PRESS BRIEFING IN GENEVA FROM 10.30AM ON FRIDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER. THE VIDEO OF THE BRIEFING WILL BE POSTED HERE SHORTLY AFTERWARDS.
FOR INTERVIEWS WITH THOSE INVOLVED, PLEASE CONTACT VIA THE DETAILS BELOW
IFRC - Andrew Thomas / [email protected] / +41763676587
CLIMATE CENTRE - Alex Wynter / [email protected] / +447717470855
WMO – Clare Nullis / [email protected] / +41797091397
SOFF - Pauline Trepczyk / [email protected] / +41796407857
UNDRR – Jeanette Elsworth / [email protected] / +41766911020
PERMAMENT REPRESENTATION OF THE NETHERLANDS - Joyce Langewen / [email protected] / +41794486110
NETHERLANDS RED CROSS - Bastiaan van Blokland / [email protected] / +31704455612
IFRC Secretary General statement at UNGA High-level Ministerial Side event on Sudan
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Our inaction today is extracting a heavy and unacceptable price on the people of Sudan.
The IFRC has been working closely with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society before and since the onset of this conflict. We closely coordinate with ICRC.
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society has more than 40,000 trained volunteers. It has access and reach to all 18 States and across both sides of the conflict to deliver life-saving assistance.
IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal to help scale up response in support of Sudan and neighbouring countries. Sadly, the response to the appeal has been very poor and many of the services may have to stop in coming months.
Excellencies – I join you all to call for an end to this inaction because the price Sudanese people are paying is inexcusable.
First—let’s have the heart to demonstrate solidarity and commitment to all crises, irrespective of their global profile. Let’s have the moral courage to treat all people affected by crises equally as they all deserve our attention and resources.
Second, let’s get the funding to the local actors that have the infrastructure and trained personnel on the ground. So far only a tiny portion of the USD 1.5 billion raised for this crisis has reached local actors. Investing in them maximises the impact of every dollar spent.
Third, let’s ensure safety, access and non-politicization of humanitarian action. Sadly, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society has already lost 5 volunteers while on duty.
The sacrifices and courage of these volunteers, these local actors form the backbone of our humanitarian efforts. They must be protected at all costs.
Together in partnership and solidarity, we can substantially alter the trajectory of the current inaction in Sudan to make a lasting, positive difference.
Sudan conflict: Sudanese Red Crescent Society and IFRC teams responding
Sudan: Complex emergency- our Emergency Appeal to support people inside Sudan
Sudan crisis: Regional population movement- our Emergency Appeal to support people fleeing the conflict to neighbouring countries
Fighting broke out in Marawei military base, Sudan on 15 April and then escalated rapidly in Khartoum and across the country. Reports indicate that hundreds of peoplehave lost their lives, with thousands more wounded and in need of urgent medical attention.
Civilians are unable to access food or water because shops remain closed and their safety is not assured. Basic services like electricity and internet services have been disrupted. So far, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced internally or fled across borders to seek safety in neighbouring countries.
Medical personnel are struggling to access health facilities due to the fighting. Hospitals that are usually re-stocked every 2-3 days are now going weeks withoutsupplies. Some of the most urgent needs in hospitals are first aid kits, diesel for power generators, stretchers, and beds, as well as transportation for medical staff and volunteers.
This latest flare-up of violence threatens to worsen a humanitarian crisis in a region that has suffered from years of violence, instability, economic hardship andfood insecurity.
Our response so far
More than 200 Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) volunteers have been deployed in Khartoum to offer first aid services and psychosocial support to those affected.
Hundreds of volunteers have also been deployed in other states; North Darfur, South Darfur and Northern State (Merawi) to offer first aid services in hospitals.
Volunteers are running a family reunification service for people who have been separated from their loved ones, offering psychosocial support to those who have lost contact.
On 2 May we launched an Emergency Appeal for Sudanfor 30 million Swiss francsto scale-up the Sudanese Red Crescent Society's local, life-saving action in the country, in collaboration and coordination with members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The IFRC has also made the following funding allocations to National Societies through ourDisaster Response Emergency Fund(DREF):
475,320 Swiss francs to the Sudanese Red Crescent Societyto enable them to provide health services, psychosocial support, and search and rescue efforts across multiple states. Find out more.
137,369 Swiss francs to the Chad Red Cross to help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Chad. Find out more.
305,832Swiss francs to the Egyptian Red Crescent to help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Egypt.Find out more.
485,297 Swiss francs to the Ethiopian Red Crossto help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Ethiopia. Find out more.
355,567 Swiss francs to the South Sudan Red Crossto help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into South Sudan. Find out more.
223,438 Swiss francs to the Central African Republic Red Cross to help themsupport the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Central African Republic. Find out more.
We continue to call on parties involved in the conflict to provide vital humanitarian space. With every single hour that the wounded and the sick cannot receive urgent assistance, the human toll continues to grow. Health-care facilities must be protected, and their personnel and transport must be given safe passage. It is an urgent priority for us to be able to reach these facilities and for maintenance teams to reach power and water stations.
For more information
Reuters article 'Red Cross warns of possible humanitarian disaster on Sudan-Chad border'(23 May)
Audio report from IFRC Deputy Regional Director for Africa (17 May)
Press release about an IFRC shipment of aid arriving in Port Sudan (16 May)
Audio update from IFRC Africa Migration and Displacement Coordinator (5 May)
SciDev.net article 'Sudan conflict leaves health system in 'total collapse'quotingIFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (27 April)
Audio report from IFRC Operations Manager in Sudan, Mohamed El Amin Ibrahim (26 April)
ABC interview with Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (25 April)
Al Jazeera English interview with Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (20 April)
Reuters article 'Almost impossible to provide aid in Sudanese capital', quotingIFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (April 18)
(Arabic) AlQAhera interview with IFRC MENA Regional Head of Disasters (28 April)
(Arabic) AlQAhera interview with IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (25 April)
(Spanish) El Pais article quotingOsama Osman, Director of Communications at the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (19 April)
If you are a journalist and would like more information or to request an interview about this emergency, please contact [email protected]
Follow these Twitter accounts for the latest updates:
IFRC Africa Regional Team: @IFRCAfrica
Sudanese Red Crescent Society: @SRCS_SD
Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan: @FARID1969
If you would like to donate to help us support people affected by the conflict in Sudan, please click here.
We are grateful for your valuable support. You can learn more about donating to the IFRC here.
Flooding around the world: Red Cross and Red Crescent teams responding
In recent weeks, floods have been hitting communities and making headlines around the world.
Let’s take a look at some of the countries dealing with flooding and see how Red Cross and Red Crescent teams are helping people who have been affected.
Torrential rains over the past couple of weeks have affected two-thirds of Slovenia, prompting the country’s Prime Minister to declare it the ‘biggest natural disaster’ in the country’s history.
The floods have killed three people and destroyed bridges, roads and houses - causing an estimated 500 million euros of damage.
Volunteers from the Slovenian Red Cross have been delivering food, water and medicine to people affected by the floods – often on foot, since it’s the only way to reach many isolated communities. They’re also accompanying people staying in temporary shelters.
The Czech Red Cross, Croatian Red Cross, Hungarian Red Cross and Polish Red Cross have all shown solidarity by sending additional food, water and hygiene items into the country to help with the response.
In Norway, Norwegian Red Cross volunteers are helping people affected Storm Hans, which is causing havoc across the south of the country – bringing extreme rain, landslides and floods.
Volunteers are assisting with evacuations, running emergency ambulances, delivering food to isolated people and building sandbag flood defences. Many local branches remain on high alert, with more volunteers standing by to support as the situation develops.
With millions reeling from the ongoing conflict in Sudan, communities across White Nile state have also now been impacted by heavy rains and flash floods.
Torrents of water swept away and destroyed everything in their path. Families have lost homes and belongings, and many are resorting to sleeping outside in the open air.
Shelter and clean water are needed urgently. Sudanese Red Crescent Society volunteers, who have already been responding to people’s needs during the conflict, are assessing the situation closely to provide additional support.
Torrential rains and floods have hit East Asia severely this summer, including areas of north, northeast and southern China. Beijing has seen the largest rainfall experienced in the city in the past 140 years.
Disaster relief teams from the Red Cross Society of China are helping people in flood-stricken areas – supporting with clean-up and recovery, as well as distributing household items, quilts, waterproof jackets and more.
In the Philippines, Typhoons Doksuri and Khanun (known locally as Egay and Falcon) have brought devastating floods.
An estimated 313,000 people have been displaced by Doksuri alone, and more than 25 people have sadly lost their lives.
Philippine Red Cross volunteers have been bringing relief supplies, meals, medical assistance and psychosocial support to affected communities.
Flash floods and heavy rainfall have caused loss of life, injuries and severe damage to hundreds of households in Afghanistan – a country already experiencing complex humanitarian crises.
Afghan Red Crescent and IFRC emergency teams are providing urgent relief – including blankets, jerry cans, tarpaulins and shelter kits. And mobile health teams are bringing medical services to remote communities.
In Iran, Iranian Red Crescent Society teams have been responding to flooding in Sistan Balochistan, North Khorasan and West Azerbaijan provinces – deploying 35 response teams and providing support to hundreds of people.
Volunteer teams have been rescuing people stranded in the flood waters, setting up temporary shelters, and providing essential items.
In western Honduras, localized flooding caused by rainstorms hit the town of Copan Ruinas – damaging homes and local businesses.
The local Honduran Red Cross branch responded quickly to distribute relief items to local people and help clear up debris and fallen trees.
Thank you to all our National Societies for supporting communities affected by floods in recent weeks.
If you'd like to learn more about floods and how you can prepare, click here.
Fleeing bombs and robbers: Lia’s search for safety in Sudan
“I was living peacefully in Khartoum before Ramadan. I’m a single mother, just with my children. I'm a director and scriptwriter, and had a new business. It was working very well and I was happy with my life until the war started,” she says.
“The day of the war, our neighbour came and told us there were problems outside. We are used to riots – we get them every day. But suddenly he told us that everything was closed and no one was going out, they are bombing everywhere, it is a real war.
“We heard constant bombing outside. The noise was so big, we were just hiding. The kids had so much fear. There was nothing in the shops to buy, and nothing in the house, so things were really very hard. We stayed one week in these conditions, then they said there was a ceasefire to give people time to get themselves a hiding place."
At this point, Lia decided to travel with her children and other family members to Omdurman, a city on the west bank of the River Nile just northwest of Khartoum, to stay with father.
“We saw a lot of things on the road. There were people with guns and weapons asking you if you were going to attack them. I told them we were not their enemy while trying to calm my children down, but they were very scared.
“Omdurman was kind of safe. At first we heard some gunfire, but suddenly after two days they started to bomb really close to us and I was scared there was no safe place around Khartoum at all. I couldn’t sleep. I was just looking at the sky – seeing all the shooting planes, colours in the air, and bombs.”
Lia and her family stayed in Omdurman for another few days until an armed robber broke in and stole from them while they were sleeping, at which point she decided it was too unsafe and time to head to the coast. She pleaded with her father to come with her, but he refused to leave his home.
Before heading for safety, Lia needed to return to her house in Khartoum to collect her family’s identity documents in case they needed to leave the country. But this proved to be another ordeal. A taxi ride that would usually take 30 minutes stretched on for hours on end, as the taxi driver tried to find safe streets in Khartoum to avoid the violence.
“We arrived at the house. It was so late. Everything was sadness and we cried altogether. We sat down in front of our house inside the gate until the morning because I couldn’t find the key. No one was sleeping. I was just holding my children, all of us together.
“Morning came. The shooting stopped for a little while, and we had hope. But suddenly it started again. We broke our lock and took our papers and some of our things.”
Lia and her children then began the long journey to Port Sudan, more than 800km away on the coast.
“We managed to escape to the place where buses were leaving Khartoum. We were on the road for almost four days, stopping in different cities overnight, sleeping on the ground next to the bus. We knocked on strangers’ houses and they helped us because they knew in Khartoum there was war. They gave us kitchen equipment so I could cook and they let us use their bathroom.
“It was tough. It was OK for me, but my children didn’t have this kind of life before. Nobody chooses to live that kind of life or chooses war, but we found ourselves in that situation.”
Eventually they arrived at Port Sudan. Though less dangerous than Khartoum, Lia struggled to find a decent place for her family to stay.
“I went to the first camp and it was so bad. We stayed there for just over a week but we couldn’t stay longer. My children were sick, so we moved to the beachside. I thought it wouldbe better but in the afternoon it was hellfire. You can’t stay directly under the sun. After that we were taken to another camp where we stayed for a month, then another camp. It’s a bit of a relief yet things are still bad. You cannot call camp a home. But at least this one compared to others is a bit better.”
When asked how the Sudanese Red Crescent Society had helped her throughout her ordeal, and what difference it had made, Lia said:
“The difference is clear. Red Crescent right from the beginning was always there to give a warm helping hand in times of need.
“They brought us doctors and medicine and some food.”
As to the future?
“I thank god we are alive. Though we lost a lot of things, we are alive and breathing and my children are by my side. I just pray that one day things will get better again and I pray Khartoum will become safe again.
“I don’t want to travel anymore. I want our lives and our country to be safe and all the worries to stop so we can continue to do the things we dream about.”
More than 1,000 people have lost their lives since conflict broke out in Sudan on 15 April, and more than 12,000 have been injured in the fighting.
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society, supported by the IFRC network, is continuing to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance despite security challenges in the country.
To help people like Lia inside Sudan, please donate to our Emergency Appeal. You can find information about the work your donation will support here.
| Press release
Sudan: Red Cross Red Crescent continue to deliver aid despite security challenges
Khartoum/Nairobi/Cairo/Geneva, 6 July 2023 - As the armed conflict in Sudan enters its third month, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) has so far moved more than 1,520 tonnes of vital food, relief items and medical supplies into the country by ship and by air.
To date, SRCS has received over 20 international flights and two shipments of aid.
The SRCS, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and partner National Societies, has been able to import and distribute food, essential household items and much needed medical supplies to the most vulnerable families across the country, including in Khartoum. This also includes supporting the distribution of 1,285 tonnes of food provided by the World Food Programme.
SRCS Secretary General, Aida Elsayed, said:
“With 40,000 volunteers in 18 branches around the country, SRCS is the largest humanitarian organization on the ground in Sudan. We are working across both sidesof the conflict in full compliance with Red Cross Red Crescent Fundamental Principles and Code of Conduct, including distributing food supplies into Khartoum where many people have been cut off for weeks.”
With nearly 2 million people forced to flee the violence, many of them women and children, often with only what they can carry, the SRCS has provided much needed food and water, emergency shelter and medical supplies. This includes more than 40,000 meals and food parcels, 24,000 first aid and medical treatments, and 740 wounded persons evacuated.
IFRC Regional Director for Africa, Mohammed Omer Mukhier, said:
“In addition, we have three flights and five shipments of goods in the pipeline, which include cars for the teams and more food, non-food and health items. They are coming from donors including the IFRC, the Red Crescent of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait Red Crescent, Egyptian Red Crescent, Spanish Red Cross, Swiss Red Cross, and China Red Cross.
“But it’s not enough. Much more is required and more action needs to be taken to grant better access to humanitarian workers. Our appeals are desperately underfunded and as the conflict continues, more people are being forced to move to safety, often with very little to protect them from the approaching rainy season.”
The IFRC has launched two Emergency Appeals in response to this crisis:one to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to help people inside Sudan andanother to support National Societies in six neighbouring countries welcoming people fleeing the conflict.
Outside Sudan, the presence of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' staff and volunteers at border points is crucial. They are operating Humanitarian Service Pointsto provide people fleeing the conflict with essential services such as psychosocial support, first aid, food and support to make contact with family members left behind.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Susan Cullinan, +61 457 527 197, [email protected]
Rita Nyaga, +254 110 837 154,[email protected]
Mey el Sayegh, +96176174468, [email protected]
Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924, [email protected]
Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367
IFRC statement at the High-Level Pledging Event for Sudan and the Region
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been working closely with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in close coordination with other Movement partners before and since the onset of this conflict.
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society is the largest humanitarian responder in the country. It has more than 40,000 trained volunteers. It has access and reach to all 18 States and across both sides of the conflict to deliver life-saving assistance.
The IFRC has launched Emergency Appeals to scale up response in support of the Sudanese Red Crescent and National Societies in neighbouring countries to provide dignified and safe assistance to people on the move.
Excellencies – today I call on the international community to make following commitments:
First - Ensure Protection: The IFRC calls on all parties to the conflict to take all precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life, and ensure critical civilian infrastructure is protected.
Second – Ensure Access: Sudanese Red Crescent Society and other first responders must have the humanitarian space to conduct their lifesaving work.
The IFRC is deeply concerned at reports of increased cases of violence affecting civilians and reports of surging cases of sexual and gender-based violence.
Third – Ensure resources: We urge world leaders, to urgently increase their funding so that local organizations including the Sudanese Red Crescent Society have sufficient resources to save lives.
The people of Sudan need our support today and, in the weeks, and months to come. Their lives are on the line. The world cannot afford to look away.
Hiding from bullets in a water tank: Kenyan evacuee who fled Sudan shares her story
“I heard the bullets outside when I was cleaning. My boss told me the war had started.”
These are the words of Theresa*, a young woman from Kenya who bravely agreed to share her story with me about fleeing the conflict in Sudan. Feeling afraid for her safety, she asked me to not publish her photo.
Theresa had just started working as a domestic worker with five other young women in a large home in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, when the fighting broke out.
“I was new in Sudan. My bosses left for Egypt and I stayed with five girls and three security. The electricity went off, there was no water, it was too hot.”
She says thieves came into the house, tied up their security and started looking for her and her fellow workers.
“We went and hid upstairs at the top of the house where there was a water tank. The thieves broke the doors, took gold, money, everything in the house. Even my passport.”
“They came upstairs and looked around. We had left a phone and kettle of tea and they said ‘the girls are around and have taken their tea here’.”
“I was inside the water tank. They shot bullets so we would come out, but we didn’t. We kept quiet in that tank of water until they ran away.”
Theresa and her fellow workers fled the house several days later when another group of men came and moved into it.
“I left everything in that house. The road was not safe. The bombs were everywhere. They were shooting, I didn’t care [if I died]. […] I came to my embassy. I stayed there then they brought me to Kenya.”
Theresa is just one of 44 people I met in Nairobi airport who’d managed to get evacuated to safety from the conflict in Sudan.
They drifted through the airport gates in small pairs and groups, collapsing onto chairs that volunteers from the Kenya Red Cross (KRC) had set out for them. “Karibu, you’re welcome” were among the first words they heard.
The group was made up of mostly women – their evacuation prioritized due to the increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence. They had come from different countries and had all been in Sudan to work or study.
Social worker and Kenya Red Cross volunteer, Alexina, tells me most of the women and some of the men she’s helped have survived sexual violence. She’s welcomed numerous groups now, and stories like Theresa’s are shockingly similar. People have often fled in a hurry, or their possessions have been stolen en route, meaning they typically have no passports, money or belongings by the time they reach Nairobi.
When they arrive, evacuees first register with Kenya Red Cross volunteers who take their details to help reconnect them with their loved ones. They’re then led to a tent where they can have quiet conversations with trained mental health workers.
Inside the tent, volunteers, including psychologists and a social worker, sit with small circles of evacuees who share their stories of what they’ve been through. This early psychosocial support gives people who’ve been through traumatic situations a chance to start to process what’s happened.
Next is a police table to help them with ID documentation. Then there’s a comfortable welcoming area where people enjoy food and drinks, and a first aid station with medical and hygiene supplies. People can access free phone services, and the Kenya Red Cross runs a bus service to transfer people to free accommodation.
“I’m very happy to be back in Kenya now […] When they were looking for me and I was inside the water tank, I thought that was my day to die,” says Theresa.
After recounting her story, Theresa looks numb and exhausted. I struggle to find adequate words as we say goodbye. She climbs, carrying her one bag, into one of the buses, and I think about what I should have said: “I’m in awe at your resilience, Theresa.”
An estimated nine million people have been affected by the conflict in Sudan. Some 1.2 million people have been displaced internally and nearly half a million people have fled to neighbouring countries.
The IFRC has launched two Emergency Appeals in response to this crisis: one to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to help people inside Sudan, and another to support National Societies in six neighbouring countries welcoming people fleeing the conflict.
To help people like Theresa, please donate to our appeals by following the links above.
*Name has been changed to protect her identity.
Empress Shôken Fund announces grants for 2023
The Empress Shôken Fund (ESF) is named after Her Majesty Empress Shôken of Japan who – at the 9th International Conference of the Red Cross – proposed the creation of an international fund to promote relief work in peacetime.
The fund is administered by the Joint Commission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which maintains close contact with the Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva, the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute in Japan.
The imperial family, the Japanese government, the Japanese Red Cross and the Japanese people revere the memory of Her Majesty Empress Shôken, and their enduring regard for the Fund is evidenced by the regularity of their contributions to it.
The Fund has a total value of more than 14 million Swiss francs and supports projects run by National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that benefit the communities they serve in many different ways. The first grant was awarded in 1921 to help five European National Societies fight the spread of tuberculosis. Since then, more than15 million Swiss francs have been allocated to 171 National Societies. The grants are announced every year on 11April, the anniversary of the death of Her Majesty Empress Shôken.
Increasingly, the Fund encourages new and innovative approaches with the potential to generate insights that will benefit our International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
2023 selection process
The Fund received 51 applications in 2022 for the 102nd distribution of income, covering a diverse range of humanitarian projects run by National Societies globally. The applications submitted featured more innovative proposals than in previous years, further confirming the need for the ESF to support innovation and experimentation within National Societies.
This year the Joint Commission agreed to allocate a total of 367,187 Swiss francs to 13 projects in Albania, Belgium, Burundi, Eswatini, Fiji, Guinea, Honduras, Indonesia, Paraguay, Sudan, Syria, Thailand and Uruguay. The world’s current crises have impacted the performance of the fund, and ESF Joint Commission members have adjusted the process accordingly.
This year the projects selected cover a variety of topics, including first aid and rescue, youth, disaster preparedness, health, and National Society development (NSD).
The 2023 grants by theme
The Fund continues to encourage new and innovative approaches, and this is clearly reflected in the selection of proposals to receive funding. Some National Societies are incubating and testing their innovative solutions and experimenting with a host of ideas and approaches. With their pilot methodology, they could potentially scale up and implement their initiatives with the support of other funding sources.In this category, the selected grantees are as follows:
The Honduran Red Cross has taken an innovative approach to volunteer empowerment and engagement. The goal of its project is to establish a fund that supports innovative micro-projects developed and led by local volunteers. This will help forge stronger links between the National Society and the communities it serves. It has designed a pilot with 12 micro-projects, responding to an identified need to grow activity at the branch level.
The Uruguayan Red Cross is focusing efforts on improving mental health resilience among young people by providing training in schools, creating psychosocial support mechanisms and forming youth brigades. There is a growing need for youth mental health support, and this pilot in two schools will give the team an opportunity to learn and adapt their approach.
The Indonesian Red Cross Society will pilot a community-based approach to environmental awareness and food security. A renovated community learning centre will be used to launch the pilot, which will engage over 100 stay-at-home spouses and 30 children. The project aims to tackle emerging issues, such as climate change, while building stronger community connections.
Many National Societies have prioritized innovative solutions to combat the challenges of climate change. In this category, the selected beneficiaries, in addition to the Indonesian Red Cross Society, are as follows.
Flooding is one of the most devastating natural hazards. The Belgian Red Cross will engage and empower young people impacted by floods to express and share their feelings on climate change through digital story telling. Simple to replicate and scalable, this initiative has the potential to give us tremendous insight and allow for powerful messages to be shared.
As a means of addressing the challenges of climate change, the Burundi Red Cross will engage in implementing activities such as tree planting and promoting improved city waste management. The project is a youth volunteer-led initiative that will reduce youth unemployment. This comprehensive approach will result in significant learning opportunities.
The Paraguayan Red Cross will develop a mobile app that will serve as an early warning system and educate communities on how they can respond to flooding in seven community districts. This solution is scalable, innovative and a sustainable approach to addressing community needs.
Finally, the last group of beneficiaries will use their grants to address issues related to disaster preparedness, health and youth. In this category, the selected grantees are as follows.
The Baphalali Eswatini Red Cross Society will improve data management processes for effective decision-making during emergencies in Eswatini by 2025. The main idea is to integrate and mainstream a mobile phone app dashboard into the existing National Society information management system and increase community participation (affected communities) in information sharing and management.
Thailand is prone to natural hazards, which often cause devastating damage and loss of lives. Therefore, the Thai Red Cross Society aims to improve disaster readiness, mainly for earthquakes, by training children and young people using virtual reality simulation.
The Sudanese Red Crescent will use the funds to support flood-affected women, providing them with cash, grants and livelihood tools to allow them to start their own business. The aim is to build resilience and longer-term recovery contexts for current and future crises by empowering the most vulnerable in a self-sustaining way.
The Red Cross Society of Guinea will focus on developing a mobile health app to comprehensively improve the quality of basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care, especially for complex deliveries, with a view to reducing maternal and newborn mortality.
According to figures on human trafficking, Albania is a primary source country and the non-EU European country with the second highest number of victims. To address this threat, the Albanian Red Cross will use the grant to train staff and volunteers, with a view to activating peer-to-peer prevention in high schools. The National Society will reach out to other sister National Societies to build a strong network of certified trainers who will raise awareness through peer-to-peer activities.
The Fiji Red Cross Society aims to overhaul its current volunteer programme, using the grant to implement end-to-end digitization to enhance the onboarding experience and increase the quality and cost-effectiveness of volunteer management. The idea is to also include community-level training that will generate meaningful learning and be easily replicable elsewhere.
At present, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has more than 18,000 staff and volunteers across its local branches who support it in carrying out its humanitarian mission. With a view to scaling up branch development by complementing other initiatives, the National Society will use the grant to digitize its policies for online courses that can be freely accessed at any time, making training more convenient for its network of staff and volunteers.
ESF and learning
The Fund constantly strives to generate insights from the projects implemented for the benefit of the whole Movement and to diversify its learning materials. Later this year, the Fund will join with the stakeholders of the other NSD funding mechanisms, namely the Capacity Building Fund (CBF) and the National Society Investment Alliance (NSIA),for a learning event, with the aim of sharing lessons learned and experiences from grantees across the different funds.
It is important to recognize the diversity of National Societies within the network and the wide range of NSD support that is needed. The ESF and the other funding mechanisms (which focus more on NSD) operate in a complementary way, and togethertheyhave the capacity to meet this array of NSD and learning needs and support a broader transformation in our network.
| Press release
Sudan: Critical funding needed urgently to continue aid to people affected by conflict
Khartoum/Nairobi/Cairo/Beirut/Geneva, 2 June 2023 – In its seventh week, the conflict in Sudan has depleted the resources of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), prompting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to double its Emergency Appeal to 60 million Swiss francs. It is also launching a second regional appeal of 42 million Swiss francs to support the influx of people fleeing to neighboring countries.
SRCS Secretary General Aida Elsayed said:
“Without this support, the people of Sudan will suffer grave humanitarian impacts as they will simply not be able to meet their basic needs and the consequences will be severe. The fighting shows no signs of slowing down and the human toll continues to grow every day."
“If funded, this revised appeal will mean SRCS can continue with evacuations, provision of water, food, shelter, first aid and psychological support as well as reuniting families. It will surely mean the difference between life and death for many people. It will certainly be a deciding factor in whether countless families experience extreme suffering.”
Shortages of medicine, food, water and fuel, destruction of hospitals, residential buildings, energy and water infrastructure as well as the risks of death and injury due to the fighting and lack of access to cash means people are not able to access essential goods and services or move to safety.
With 40,000 volunteers in 18 branches around the country, SRCS is the largest humanitarian organization on the ground in Sudan and has so far provided more than 40,000 meals and food parcels, 24,000 first aid and medical treatments, and evacuated 740 wounded people. SRCS is also conducting safe and dignified burials for those who lost their lives.
“While our SRCS volunteers have been working tirelessly to help people since the start of the conflict despite the dangers and the fact that they and their own families are also affected, much more is needed. But this will only be possible if we receive the funding. Without it, we are leaving the people of Sudan to face impossible situations that many may not survive,” said Ms Elsayed.
Nine million people have been affected by the conflict in a country where 11.7 million people were already in need of food and livelihood assistance.
“With these pre-existing vulnerabilities and lifesaving food aid almost completely stopped, the consequences will be disastrous for families relying on this assistance,” said Ms Elsayed.
The new Regional Population Movement Appeal will support the humanitarian response activities of National Societies in the neighboring countries of Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Libya.
IFRC Regional Director for Africa Mohammed Mukhier said:
“More than 330,000 people have fled the devastating conflict in Sudan seeking safety in neighboring countries. The situation is extremely volatile and as the conflict continues, the movement across borders will only increase. These were already vulnerable people, with the majority women and children, and a significant number are fleeing violence for a second time having been displaced from camps in Sudan.”
Outside Sudan the presence of Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies staff and volunteers at border points is crucial. They are operating Humanitarian Service Points to provide people fleeing the conflict with essential services such as psychosocial support, medication, first aid, food and sim cards as well as restoring family links.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact: [email protected]
Rita Nyaga, +254 110 837 154, [email protected]
Susan Cullinan, +61 457 527 197, [email protected]
In Beirut: Mey el Sayegh, +96176174468, [email protected]
Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924
Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367
| Press release
New shipment of IFRC humanitarian aid arrives in Port Sudan amid conflict
Khartoum/Nairobi/Geneva, 16 May 2023: A new batch of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) humanitarian supplies, weighing 17 tons, arrived in Port Sudan today from Dubai. Transportation of these supplies was made possible through a European Union humanitarian air bridge flight. The IFRC is hopeful that this air bridge will be maintained to ensure further aid is provided in the coming weeks.
Among the household items delivered were blankets, jerricans, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and tarpaulins for 500 families. This dispatch will be followed in the coming days by a second batch of medical supplies including Interagency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK) to increase access to much needed healthcare services for thousands of people affected by the conflict. Upon arrival, they will be handed over to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.
Mohammed Mukhier, IFRC Regional Director for Africa said:
“Most of our aid supplies were already distributed to people in need, despite some being looted in Khartoum and Darfur. So, this international humanitarian shipment comes at a crucial time as it will help the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to assist people caught between the conflict and the next flooding, which is typical in the country.”
Since conflict escalated, thousands of families have been cut off from basic services, including health services, food, water, and shelter and are in desperate need of help. Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers have been working tirelessly, right from the start, to provide lifesaving assistance to affected people, despite the dangers they face and the fact that they are also affected.
They are running a broad range of humanitarian services, including first aid, psychosocial support, family reunification for people who have been separated from their loved ones, food and water distribution, shelter provision, and safe and dignified burials for those who lost their lives. On May 4, the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to deliver assistance to 200,000 people affected by the conflict.
“Our volunteers will deliver the relief items wherever access and security allow. For that purpose, we renew our call for safe and unhindered access and passage to allow humanitarian help to reach those in need,” said Mr Mukhier.
While supporting the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in assisting people in Sudan, IFRC is also scaling up its response to meet the urgent needs of those fleeing the conflict and crossing into neighbouring countries: Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
In Nairobi: Rita Nyaga, +254 722 527553, [email protected]
Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924
Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367
Moustapha Diallo, +221 77 450 10 04, [email protected]
Sudan: Complex emergency
Fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out in the capital, Khartoum, on 15 April and spread rapidly across the country. More than 1,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands of people are internally displaced or have fled across borders to neighbouring countries to escape the violence.Through this Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in at-risk locations and on the move.
| Press release
IFRC increases support in Sudan to assist people in at-risk locations and on the move
Khartoum/Nairobi/Geneva, 4 May 2023 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an Emergency Appeal to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to deliver assistance to 200,000 people affected by the recent conflict.
Since fighting broke out in several parts of the country on 15 April 2023, access to basic services such as healthcare and water provision have been deteriorating. Many families cannot access food, medicine, or water due to fear of being caught in the crossfire and the escalation of prices. Around 15 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance prior to the conflict.
Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC head of Country Cluster for Sudan said: “Despite these difficult circumstances, Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers have remained on the ground, providing psychosocial support and first aid services since the fighting started. Those close to hospitals are working alongside the healthcare staff and providing medical support.”
Damage caused by the fighting is immense and the people will need to rebuild their lives in the months to come. Many have been moving to neighbouring countries in search of safety or to seek medical assistance. This has led to separation of families, causing further psychological strain on communities being forced to make decisions between remaining and leaving.
“This means that many are remaining inside Sudan because they are not able to make this choice and more cannot leave because they do not have the means to do so. All of them need support and we want to work alongside the SRCS to ensure as many people as possible get the assistance they need,” said Mr Abdulkadir.
Through the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF), the IFRC previously activated funds to support mobilization of volunteers to help with emergency activities across all SRCS branches in Sudan. By launching this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is seeking 30 million Swiss Francs to assist the SRCS in providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in at-risk locations and on the move.
The SRCS has 18 branches and 40,000 volunteers spread across the country, including at border points with Egypt, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Red Cross Red crescent teams in these countries have also been mobilized to provide humanitarian support to the influx of people crossing the borders and seeking safety.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Rita Nyaga, +254 722 527553, [email protected]
Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924
Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367
Building Trust programme
Building Trust during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Humanitarian Settings is our global programme supporting Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to build trust in public health responses and in the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Africa: Hunger crisis
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing one of the most alarming food crises in decades—immense in both its severity and geographic scope.Roughly 146 million people are suffering from acute food insecurity and require urgent humanitarian assistance. The crisis is driven by a range of local and global factors, including insecurity and armed conflict, extreme weather events, climate variability and negative macroeconomic impacts. Through this regional Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting many Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across Africa to protect the lives, livelihoods and prospects of millions of people.
The Sudanese Red Crescent
| Press release
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement scales up its humanitarian response to meet urgent needs in Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti
Geneva/Nairobi, 28 January 2021 – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is appealing to donors for 20 million Swiss francs to urgently expand its response to the acute humanitarian needs created by the Tigray crisis in Ethiopia, while the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is appealing for 27 million Swiss francs to support the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and the Djibouti Red Crescent Society to address other drivers of vulnerability in the region.
Many people have been displaced within Tigray, and almost 60,000 sought refuge in Sudan. Refugees and people displaced within the region suffer from a lack of food and essential services, like water and healthcare. Some healthcare facilities in Tigray were abandoned and looted, while others are running short of supplies and are struggling to cope with the growing demand. Thousands have lost contact with their loved ones.
"The needs in Tigray are overwhelming. Government responses need to accelerate, and humanitarian organizations urgently need access so people can receive lifesaving assistance before it's too late," said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s regional director for Africa. "Humanitarian access outside major towns remains challenging and there is little visibility on the humanitarian situation in rural areas."
"The recent developments in Tigray have compounded other existing vulnerabilities in Ethiopia and in neighbouring Sudan and Djibouti. Even before the fighting, the region was dealing with acute food insecurity, an invasion of desert locusts, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mohammed Mukhier, regional director for Africa at IFRC.
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS), present across the country, including Tigray, has been providing humanitarian assistance since the first day of the fighting, working alongside the ICRC. The ERCS counts on a large network of volunteers who remained active despite being affected by the crisis themselves.
The ICRC has been working in Tigray for decades and maintained its operations throughout the fighting that erupted almost three months ago. Supporting hospitals in Mekelle, Axum, Adwa and Shire has been a priority. Following some of its initial assistance missions, which included sending the first humanitarian convoy into Mekelle and helping some 11,300 families reestablish contact, the ICRC is appealing to donors for funds needed to reinforce its operational capacity. It is expanding its presence in Mekelle and re-opening an office in Shire.
Besides scaling up its presence in Tigray, the ICRC will continue addressing the alarming humanitarian situation in Benishangul-Gumuz, Western Oromia and Guji, where armed violence episodes have been recurrent.
The Sudanese Red Crescent has been distributing food, household items and providing primary health services to refugees and communities hosting them. The IFRC released emergency funds to enable the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to assist 40,000 people. The Djibouti Red Crescent Society maintains a presence in Hol Hol refugee camp and Obock, where it provides water and sanitation services and works to promote hygiene and raise COVID-19 awareness.
The IFRC is appealing for funds to enable the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and the Djibouti Red Crescent Society to deliver humanitarian assistance and recovery support to 660,000 people.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world's largest humanitarian network. It consists of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The town of Mekelle has been struggling with a shortage of water in recent months and the ICRC has been supplying water to 3,700 people a day through water trucking and storage tank installations.
It provided medical assistance to 4,500 people wounded by weapons and 10,900 primary healthcare patients. 648 weapon-wounded people received physical rehabilitation services.
The organization has distributed 35 metric tons of food received from the Ministry of Health and Catholic Relief Services to four hospitals in Tigray.
Almost 9,500 displaced people in Mekelle received essential household items.
11,300 families reestablished contact through the Ethiopian Red Cross, the Sudanese Red Crescent and the ICRC services in Sudan and Ethiopia.
In November, the IFRC released funds to the Ethiopian Red Cross Society to target 7,500 affected people in Amhara to improve their access to health, water and sanitation, shelter and livelihood support for four months.
The IFRC also released emergency funds to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to provide emergency services to 40,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan. The Sudanese Red Crescent Society works in Hamdayit and Al Lukdi centres and Um-Rakoba settlement to provide shelter, household items, health services, improved water and sanitation, and to carry out gender protection and inclusion activities.
In all the three countries, the IFRC continued supporting National Societies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
| Press release
Sudan: Red Crescent ramps up operation as influx of Ethiopian refugees grows
Khartoum/Nairobi/Geneva, 23 November 2020 – The Sudanese Red Crescent Society has scaled up its operation at the border with Ethiopia to support the growing number of Ethiopian refugees coming into the country. Since fighting began in Ethiopia’s Tigray region on 5 November, more than 30,000 people have crossed the border into Sudan and the number is increasing by the day.
At the transit centres located in Lukdi in Gedaref and Hamdaiet in Kassala state, there is an urgent and immediate need for food and water, shelter, first aid and medical care as well as psychosocial support. The Red Crescent has distributed emergency relief items to 500 families and is mobilising more support from partners and the Sudanese government.
Dr Afaf Yahya, Sudanese Red Crescent Secretary General, said: “We have completed construction of four communal shelters, seven communal kitchens and four emergency latrine blocks. We have also rehabilitated the road from Doka to Um Rakoba to speed up and ease the transportation of the refugees to settlement camps.”
In Kassala state, the Red Crescent is operating in two clinics where health and nutrition screenings and medical consultations are being conducted. Red Crescent teams are providing psychosocial support and transferring those with complicated medical conditions and in need of surgery to hospitals.
“We are concerned by the rate at which humanitarian needs are growing. Many of the refugees are exhausted and hungry from the long distances they have walked to reach here. They are worried about the families they left behind and from the look on children’s faces, they are evidently deeply affected to by what is happening,” said Dr Yahya.
Mohammed Omer Mukhier, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Regional Director for Africa, said:
“The needs at the border transit points and settlement camps remain high. There is an urgent need for more emergency shelter for refugees, who are still arriving in big numbers. Distribution centres need to be constructed and existing health centres also need to be rehabilitated.”
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society—which has an expansive network of 400,000 volunteers across the country—has also mobilised volunteers to assist with temperature checks and registration at border transit points. The Red Crescent has responded to previous population movement crises including, the South Sudanese refugee’ emergency.
This influx of refugees comes at a time when Sudan is already in the throes of a major and complex humanitarian emergency. Unprecedented flooding since July has left over 875,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance. Food crops already depleted due to a desert locust invasion, and livestock have been wiped out. Soaring inflation has led to prices skyrocketing, and stagnant and contaminated water continue to pose a serious health risk alongside the threat of COVID-19. Kassala State—an area heavily affected by the flooding—is now hosting incoming refugees, adding further strain to resources and local communities.
| Press release
Sudan floods: “The conditions are simply appalling” says IFRC Secretary General, as emergency appeal remains woefully underfunded
Geneva, 15 October – The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) has returned from Sudan, where unprecedented flooding has killed more than 100 people and left over 875,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance – about half of whom are children.
On his first overseas mission since taking office in February 2020, Jagan Chapagain met Sudanese communities in the throes of a major and complex humanitarian emergency – as flooding, soaring inflation, a deteriorating health situation and the ongoing risk of COVID-19 threaten to undo the country’s development progress of recent years.
Speaking about his visit to Algamayer camp on the outskirts of Khartoum, the Secretary General said: “I was not prepared for what I saw. The conditions are simply appalling. The people I met in the camp are angry and told me they haven’t received anywhere near the kind of support that they need. They told me they need shelter, clean water and access to basic sanitation. These are the kind of conditions that can lead to disease and even worse suffering.”
Across Sudan, at least 175,000 houses have been destroyed leaving thousands of families homeless. Food crops and livestock have also been wiped out, and with soaring inflation leading to the cost of food skyrocketing by nearly 200 per cent, communities are facing crisis levels of food insecurity.
“These are just numbers. They don’t convey the real human impact of this crisis. What really struck me was the toll the floods have taken on children, women, and other vulnerable groups. In fact, in many ways, this is a children’s emergency. About half of all those affected are children,” continued Mr Chapagain.
Red Crescent volunteers are present in all 18 regions of Sudan and have been providing vital humanitarian assistance since the flooding hit. Support includes search and rescue operations, first aid and psychosocial support, distributing food and emergency items and assisting families to move to higher ground. In September, IFRC launched an emergency appeal for 12 million Swiss francs to meaningfully extend this support, which currently sits at only 15% funded.
“I met volunteers and frontline staff from the Sudanese Red Crescent who are working tirelessly to support their communities, but they don’t have the cash or the tools to do so. We need to help them, and we need to help the people of Sudan. The consequences of failing the people of Sudan at this juncture could be severe,” Mr Chapagain concluded.
| Press release
Red Cross launches Emergency Appeal for Sudan as deadly flooding leaves thousands homeless
Nairobi/Geneva, 11 September 2020 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today launched an additional funds appeal for 12 million Swiss Francs to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) in delivering assistance to people affected by flooding.
Since July 2020, heavy rainfall has been escalating in Sudan and today, 16 of the 18 states are flooded. Sinnar, Khartoum, and Al Gezira are the most affected states. Teams of Red Crescent volunteers are helping people to move to higher ground and providing emergency support to the most vulnerable people affected by the disaster.
Elfadil Eltahir, SRCS President, said:
“The magnitude of the flooding disaster is unprecedented. The situation is getting worse as water continues to rise by the hour, covering new areas and causing more devastation. To cope with this dire situation, more humanitarian assistance is badly and urgently needed in order to alleviate the suffering of those affected, by protecting their health, life and dignity.”
The flooding has affected more than 500,000 people who are all in need of shelter, household items, health and care, water, hygiene, sanitation, food and other basic needs. The SRCS will assist at least 200,000 of these people. Across the country, women, girls, children, older people, migrants — as well as people with disabilities and underlying conditions, remain at risk.
John Roche, IFRC’s Head of East Africa Office said: “This is an unfolding situation as information comes from those on the frontline, the testimonies of the devastation and loss is overwhelming. More than 100,000 homes so far have been reported to have been carried away by the floods, food crops have been destroyed, access to clean drinking water becomes precarious as many face increased exposure to water- and vector-borne disease.”
The SRCS will use the funds from the emergency appeal to provide emergency shelter materials, safe drinking water and hygiene materials, primary health care to prevent disease outbreaks, psychosocial support and cash grants for food and basic needs. Communities and families want to stay close together and move as a group and it is difficult to implement Covid-19 preventive measures.
In addition, the funds will also help volunteers to share life-saving information on waterborne disease prevention, risk avoidance, and early warning systems on possible flooding or landslide threats. More volunteers will be trained on how to conduct assessment and monitoring.
The Sudan floods are yet another example of the increasing climate risks we face around the world. Global leaders such as IFRC President Francesco Rocca — who have been meeting this week to address these challenges during a global climate summit (Climate:Red) with 10,000 participants from 195 countries — indicated that climate change is one of the IFRC’s top priorities for the coming decade, and will require a combination of increased response to emergencies such as the one we now face in Sudan, but also increased efforts to help communities to adapt and reduce the rising risks.