Thousands of refugees are fleeing into Sudan every day and face desperate shortages of food, water and shelter, as the violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia escalates.
More than 27,000 refugees have now crossed the border since last week, and tens of thousands more are expected. Islamic Relief is launching an urgent response to provide food and other life-saving aid.
Elsadig Elnour, Country Director of Islamic Relief in Sudan, said:
“The conditions for refugees are a nightmare. Many people have no food or running water. They are hungry, exhausted and scared of more violence. Most of the new arrivals are children, women and the elderly and they come with nothing but a few small things they could grab as they fled their homes.
“They are sheltering wherever they can – in the open under trees and plastic sheets or in abandoned old houses. The camps are crowded so social distancing is virtually impossible as Covid-19 continues to spread.
“Every day the numbers and needs grow bigger but there is not enough capacity on the ground to respond. Services are dangerously overstretched. We are preparing to distribute food parcels and hygiene kits to the most vulnerable, but much more aid is needed.”
As the crisis in Ethiopia intensifies, Sudan is bracing itself for a massive influx of refugees while it is dealing with multiple crises. Islamic Relief is currently responding to Sudan’s worst floods in decades, which have killed at least 155 people and affected more than 860,000 people. An economic crisis has also led to shortages of essential food such as bread across the country.