• At least half the population of Sudan—25 million people—are in need of humanitarian aid

  • More than 222,000 children are predicted to die of starvation in the coming months if no swift action is taken

  • Upwards of 10 million people are internally displaced in Sudan, while at least 2 million have fled to neighbouring countries

The IRC’s 2024 Emergency Watchlist identified Sudan as the humanitarian crisis most at risk of deteriorating this year. In response to the lack of attention on the crisis, the IRC is today launching a mid-year Crisis Alert on Sudan.

The new report illustrates the trajectory of a country in freefall. Without a shift in approach from the international community—including the European Union—Sudan risks being further torn apart by conflict with dire implications for millions of civilians, and regional security.

Conservative estimates suggest that at least 15,500 people have already died as a result of the conflict, while some estimates are as high as 150,000, and counting. People are now facing starvation and the risk of famine is looming. Unless there is an immediate halt in fighting and scale-up of humanitarian assistance, the worst levels of food insecurity (IPC5) can be expected in many parts of the country over the coming months.

The alert highlights how military decision makers, regional powers, and the international community have failed the people of Sudan, and pushes for a total reset of the humanitarian response.

On 13th June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate halt to the fighting and de-escalation in and around El Fasher, and for enhanced measures to protect civilians and healthcare from attack. Concerted diplomatic efforts are now needed to ensure warring parties implement these steps.

We are calling on the EU to step up its support for crisis response in Sudan—ensuring that humanitarian aid can reach those who need it, and elevating its diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire.

Eatizaz Yousif, IRC Country Director for Sudan, said: 

“After more than a year of war, the people of Sudan—my people—are experiencing suffering on a massive scale. Millions of lives have been turned upside down, children’s education has all but stopped, basic services like hospitals and banks have ceased to function in many parts of the country, and families are having to make impossible choices to feed their children. The world has chosen to ignore the suffering in Sudan for too long, many civilians have been killed and numerous towns have been destroyed, including the capital Khartoum. There have been no adequate interventions to halt the conflict.

The already catastrophic humanitarian situation demands renewed efforts to bring an end to the fighting and to ensure humanitarians can do their jobs. Across Sudan, millions of people are denied the assistance they need due to fighting and delays and barriers to aid delivery, for which warring parties are responsible.

As the civil war in Sudan escalates and the humanitarian disaster deepens, it continues to spill over into neighbouring countries—like Chad and South Sudan that are already facing their own challenges. Urgent support is also needed to ensure those that have fled the country, and the communities that host them, receive the support they need until they can return home.

The IRC’s mid-year alert sets out clear recommendations for action that, if implemented, would tilt the scales towards peace and drive much needed reforms to the way aid is supported, implemented and funded. We know what needs to change, so there are no excuses for inaction.”

Marta Welander, IRC EU Advocacy Director added:

“While the EU and its member states have played a leading role in the international response to the crisis in Sudan, including by organising a Paris Conference in April and ramping up humanitarian efforts, it is clear that greater support is needed. With the number of people in need of humanitarian aid in Sudan exceeding the total population of the Netherlands, the EU needs to urgently scale up its response to prevent mass starvation, and renew its efforts to ensure that humanitarian aid can reach those who need it most.

The EU should also put its diplomatic weight behind securing a ceasefire, including by strengthening its engagement with regional partners. At a time of political transition in the EU following the European elections, the people of Sudan require swift and decisive action—they cannot afford to wait.”

Read the Sudan Watchlist Crisis Alert.

Note to Editors:

The IRC has adapted and scaled up our programming in Sudan to address increased humanitarian needs. We are supporting people who have been displaced internally through economic empowerment services, health and nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. The IRC also provides protection and empowerment services for women and children, including gender-based violence survivors in Blue Nile, Gedaref, White Nile and Khartoum states. We have established offices in new regions, including Port Sudan, and are in the process of launching an emergency response in River Nile state to deliver cash assistance, safe water, and sanitation and hygiene services to vulnerable communities. We are also working to establish a presence in new locations to address gaps in humanitarian coverage and expand our programming in response to the enduring humanitarian crisis in Sudan. The IRC is also working in Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda to support refugees from Sudan. To learn more about IRC’s programming in Sudan, go here.