The International Rescue Committee (IRC) welcomes the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2736 demanding an immediate halt to the fighting and de-escalation in and around El Fasher, in Sudan. Fighting in El Fasher and in surrounding areas over the past month has been devastating for civilians. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee, homes have been destroyed often by heavy artillery leading to large numbers of civilian casualties, and basic services for those trapped in the city are being destroyed. Hospitals and clinics have come under severe attacks, and families in the city face shortages of food and water. 

The resolution also demands that the parties to conflict uphold their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, including by ensuring the protection of civilians and healthcare from attack, and facilitating humanitarian access to civilians in need wherever they are, including by re-opening a critical border crossing from Chad into Darfur for use by the United Nations (U.N.).  

Eatizaz Yousif, IRC Country Director for Sudan, said:

“The U.N. Security Council Resolution on Sudan couldn't come a moment sooner. For too long the world has looked away as the conflict has torn the country apart and driven a humanitarian crisis on a vast scale. With 12 million people forced from their homes due to fighting, famine looming, and restricted humanitarian access, families are having to make impossible choices to feed their children and keep them safe. 

The parties to the conflict must now urgently implement these calls to action. The resolution sets out critical steps to establish a sustainable resolution to the conflict across Sudan, but the Sudanese people cannot wait for peace before the assistance they need to meet their needs is scaled up. Measures must be put in place now to ensure that full, rapid, safe, unhindered and sustained humanitarian assistance reaches everyone that needs it, regardless of their location.

While we welcome recent improvements in the issuance of visas and travel permits, millions of people are still not receiving the aid they need due to constraints on access, including at border crossing points, and across conflict lines. Fulfilling the U.N. Security Council Resolution recommendation to designate Adre as an official border crossing point for use by  the U.N. to deliver aid from Chad into Darfur would be a step in the right direction. But for aid to be delivered at the scale required, parties to the conflict must ensure it can be safely and freely provided everywhere, including across conflict lines within Sudan.” 

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 programmes. 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 launched 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.