Islamic Relief is appealing for urgent support as violence rages in Sudan ahead of the Eid holiday.
The fighting, which began on Saturday in the final days of Ramadan, has killed around 300 civilians and injured thousands more.
“This is a sad Eid for people in Sudan and there is nothing to celebrate right now,” says Elsadig Elnour, Islamic Relief’s country director in Sudan, a country in which almost 16 million people needed humanitarian aid even before the fighting began.
“Many people have lost loved ones to the violence, they’re running out of money, shops are shut and food is scarce. Many of the poorest families face an Eid with barely anything to eat,” adds Elsadig, adding that power and water supplies have been cut in many places.
After a ceasefire was quickly broken with disregard for the lives and safety of civilians or humanitarian workers, fighting in residential streets has trapped people in their homes. Among them are Islamic Relief colleagues and their loved ones.
“Families can’t move around without risking their lives and are trapped at home. My own family spent most of the past 24 hours hibernating as there was intensive fighting close by. Those who can flee are scrambling to leave Khartoum and get to safer rural villages,” Elsadig explains, pointing to fears that many people will be uprooted in the Darfur region too.
Sudan fighting overwhelms hospitals
Hospitals too, are surrounded by fighting, cutting the injured off from desperately needed medical care.
“Hospitals need urgent support. Most hospitals in Khartoum are no longer functioning and several hospitals have been bombed and shot at. Others have run out of fuel and cannot function. Those still open are crowded with injured people and running out of medicine and supplies. They don’t even have enough bandages.”
Islamic Relief is readying to respond to Sudan violence
Islamic Relief’s work in Khartoum, Darfur and Kordofan is currently suspended due to the extreme security situation, with many aid offices attacked and looted and at least 4 humanitarian workers killed so far.
As Eid approaches, Islamic Relief is calling on both sides to ensure civilians and aid workers are protected from violence, and that humanitarian agencies can safely access people in need.
“At the moment there is no sign of when it will end, but we pray that there will be a real ceasefire for Eid. We urgently need the parties to the conflict to agree safe routes to evacuate injured people and enable aid agencies to support people.”
Islamic Relief is closely monitoring the situation and gearing up to support hospitals and provide essential aid such as food as soon as the volatile situation allows.
Islamic Relief has worked in Sudan for nearly 40 years, and remains by the sides of families caught up in the violence. Please support our life-saving work: donate to our Sudan Emergency Appeal now.