Civilians are bearing the brunt of the fighting as it spreads across Sudan, with families trapped in their homes and running out of food and water. More than one hundred civilians have now been killed and hundreds more injured as heavy fighting continues throughout residential areas and close to hospitals.
At least four humanitarian aid workers are among those killed and many aid agency offices have been looted, forcing the suspension of vital humanitarian work. The violence has spread across the country, with Islamic Relief teams reporting the situation in the western region of Darfur is particularly alarming.
Shops, markets and banks are all closed, so people can’t access money or essential supplies. In some areas food prices have tripled since Saturday as supplies have become increasingly scarce. Hospitals are overwhelmed and reportedly running out of oxygen, fuel and blood bags to treat the wounded, and patients have called for safe passage to leave as the fighting spreads nearby.
As we reach the holiest nights of Ramadan and approach Eid, Islamic Relief is calling for an immediate ceasefire and for both sides to ensure that civilians and humanitarian workers are protected. Civilians and humanitarian workers must never be targeted.
Elsadig Elnour, Islamic Relief’s Sudan Country Director, in Khartoum, says:
“The fighting is going on and we can hear bullets and bombing all around us. Buildings are on fire and smoke fills the sky. People are trapped in their homes and scared about what is going to happen in the coming days. Life is paralysed, everything is closed and food supplies are running out.
Many of the poorest people don’t have stocks of food, they buy whatever little they can afford each day – and now they can’t even do that. Already critical levels of hunger in the country are now set to get even worse. Millions of people will need aid.”
Sudan is already suffering from one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises, with almost 16 million people in need of aid. An economic collapse and rampant inflation have left many people unable to get enough food and Sudan has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world.
Islamic Relief is calling on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and ensure humanitarian agencies have safe access to affected people.
Islamic Relief has worked in Sudan since 1984, providing emergency aid and long-term development. We help communities get food and water, support health centres, and work to improve education, sustainable livelihoods and women’s rights. We currently work across the country, in Khartoum, Blue Nile, North and South Kordofan, Central and West Darfur, Kassala and Gedaref.
The depreciation of the Sudanese currency, as well as the impact of the war in Ukraine and Sudan’s political crisis, has caused the price of food to skyrocket. Staple food such as sorghum and millet have risen by 700 percent in the last few years and are 60 percent higher than a year ago.