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Country analysis

Sudan


The number of people estimated to need humanitarian assistance across the country in 2023 has jumped from 15.8 million to 24.7 million following the clashes that erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in multiple areas of Sudan on 15 April. Drivers of the crisis include political instability following the military takeover on 25 October 2021 and the onset of conflict on 15 April 2023, a socioeconomic crisis characterised by high inflation rates and currency depreciation, and food insecurity affecting at least a quarter of the population, projected to further deteriorate.

As at February 2024, the recent conflict in April had displaced more than 9 million people inside Sudan and 1.7 million people to neighbouring countries, mainly Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Intercommunal clashes and violence in some areas of the country, mostly in Darfur and Kordofan regions, also contribute to the high numbers of internal and cross-border displacements.

The flood season usually affects Sudan between June–September, driving displacement and increasing humanitarian needs. There are nearly 962,000 refugees in Sudan as at 31 December 2023. The conflict between SAF and RSF has affected these refugees. (OCHA 07/11/2022, OCHA 04/02/2024, IOM 07/02/2024, UNHCR accessed 09/02/2024, OCHA 17/05/2023)

The number of people estimated to need humanitarian assistance across the country in 2023 has jumped from 15.8 million to 24.7 million following the clashes that erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in multiple areas of Sudan on 15 April. Drivers of the crisis include political instability following the military takeover on 25 October 2021 and the onset of conflict on 15 April 2023, a socioeconomic crisis characterised by high inflation rates and currency depreciation, and food insecurity affecting at least a quarter of the population, projected to further deteriorate.

As at February 2024, the recent conflict in April had displaced more than 9 million people inside Sudan and 1.7 million people to neighbouring countries, mainly Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Intercommunal clashes and violence in some areas of the country, mostly in Darfur and Kordofan regions, also contribute to the high numbers of internal and cross-border displacements.

The flood season usually affects Sudan between June–September, driving displacement and increasing humanitarian needs. There are nearly 962,000 refugees in Sudan as at 31 December 2023. The conflict between SAF and RSF has affected these refugees. (OCHA 07/11/2022, OCHA 04/02/2024, IOM 07/02/2024, UNHCR accessed 09/02/2024, OCHA 17/05/2023)

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15 April 2024

On 13 April 2024, clashes escalated in Al Fasher city, North Darfur state, involving the Rapid Support Forces, the Sudanese Armed Forces, and other armed groups, increasing the risk of violence expanding across the state. Six villages were burnt down in western Al Fasher, and at least ten civilians were killed. This escalation of violence will likely further hinder aid delivery across Darfur region, as Al Fasher is considered a humanitarian hub for international organisations. North Darfur has also seen limited clashes since the start of the conflict in April 2023, and it has been hosting over 574,000 displaced people in school buildings and open areas. Al Fasher hosted at least 100,000 people as at 4 April 2024. Clashes have likely led to new displacement, but exact figures remain unclear. (UNSG 15/04/2024, PressTV 15/04/2024, IOM 15/04/2024)

19 March 2024

In 2024, over 3.7 million children are estimated to be suffering from malnutrition, with 729,000 children under five likely facing severe acute malnutrition and needing food and malnutrition treatment services. About 230,000 children, pregnant women, and new mothers will likely be at risk of dying because of hunger throughout the year. (STC 11/03/2024, OCHA 13/03/2024)

14 February 2024

The conflict in Sudan and high humanitarian access restrictions continue to aggravate the humanitarian situation, including food insecurity and malnutrition. Nearly 18 million people are facing acute hunger, with five million facing Emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC 4). The most impacted areas are Darfur, Khartoum, and Kordofan. Estimates indicate that in 2024, over 3.5 million children will likely face acute malnutrition, including 700,000 who will suffer from severe acute malnutrition and need life-saving treatment. Insecurity, roadblocks, and administrative requests such as fees and taxation are restricting the delivery of food to people in need. A total blackout of communication services since 7 February has also been restricting humanitarian deliveries, preventing people from making payments or receiving money transfers from abroad and hindering health operations and access to healthcare. The blockout also limits access to information regarding areas of insecurity and safe evacuations, increasing protection risks. (UN 02/02/2024, OCHA 12/02/2024, UNICEF 09/02/2024)

03 January 2024

Over 300,000 people were displaced from and within Aj Jazirah state following clashes between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces in Wad Medani city since 15 December. Some IDPs have moved to Gedaref, Kassala, Red Sea, Sennar, and White Nile states, and some have crossed into South Sudan. Most IDPs are staying with a host community and need shelter, food, and NFIs. Hospitals in Aj Jazirah state have been receiving many patients from other conflict areas in Sudan, but access to health services in Wad Madani is now restricted because of insecurity and the displacement of many health staff. Some humanitarian operations have been suspended because of insecurity and looting of warehouses, reducing access to food and other services. The Rapid Support Forces' control over Aj Jazirah will likely result in food shortages, as the area produces nearly half of Sudan’s wheat.
(OCHA 28/12/2023, WFP 28/12/2023, All Africa 23/12/2023)

13 December 2023

In 2023, humanitarian access restrictions continue across Sudan, particularly in Khartoum state and Darfur and Kordofan regions. Bureaucratic and administrative impediments by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces delay aid delivery. Humanitarian organisations are experiencing mandatory loading inspections of supplies and paying the authorities additional fees for hiring new staff. They are also paying armed groups extra fees at checkpoints and providing government officials incentives in exchange for the implementation of certain activities. International staff continue to face delays and inconsistencies in visa issuance, while the Government is denying some permits for travel between Sudan’s states. Insecurity, attacks on humanitarian convoys, and the targeting of local volunteers continue to majorly restrict access. At least ten aid workers were killed between June–September and 19 injured between June–October. On 10 December, an attack on a humanitarian convoy in Khartoum killed two people and injured seven, including three humanitarian staff. (OCHA 15/08/2023, OCHA 30/10/2023, ICRC 10/12/2023)

06 December 2023

At least 5,178 suspected cholera cases, including more than 160 deaths, had been reported across nine states as at 2 December. The spread continues amid a lack of access to healthcare services. An estimated two-thirds of the population struggle to reach health services, as between 70–80% of health facilities remain nonfunctional. (UN 04/12/2023, OCHA 04/12/2023)

24 November 2023

Among the 4.5 million people internally displaced by the conflict between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces since mid-April 2023 were an estimated 105,000 pregnant women as at November. With 70–80% of hospitals in Sudan not functional, most of these women struggle to access maternal healthcare and medicine. A ban imposed in Khartoum on the transport of surgical supplies has made it particularly challenging for the women there to receive surgery. (UNFPA accessed 29/11/2023, Al Jazeera 24/11/2023, MSF 14/11/2023)

current crises
in Sudan


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

SDN001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 15/04/2024


Drivers

Displacement
Violence
Floods

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.9 Very High

Access constraints

5.0

SDN005 - Refugees

Last updated 15/04/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.2 High

Access constraints

4.0

Analysis products
on Sudan

Sudan: Impact of long-term displacement in the North

22 May 2024

Sudan: Impact of long-term displacement in the North

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Since 15 April 2023, clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, have caused widespread displacement. IDPs are moving northwards into River Nile and Northern states, which offer security and potential routes to leave the country altogether. 

Conflict and violenceDisplacement
Sudan: impact of long-term displacement in the East

08 March 2024

Sudan: impact of long-term displacement in the East

DOCUMENT / PDF / 463 KB

The fighting that broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces on 15 April 2023 has displaced over 7.76 million people both inside and outside Sudan. The largest number of IDPs originated from Khartoum state. Around 1.61 million individuals have crossed into neighbouring countries.

Displacement
Sudan: protection concerns ten months into the war

29 February 2024

Sudan: protection concerns ten months into the war

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Ten months into the war, human rights violations constitute the current protection crisis in Sudan. These violations include the deliberate targeting of civilians, conflict-related sexual violence, enforced disappearances, forced displacements, and violations against the crisisaffected civilian population, including children. Humanitarian access challenges resulting from insecurity and obstructions to the aid response compound this complex crisis, further increasing protection needs.

AudioConflict and violenceProtection

Attached resources

Sudan: healthcare and epidemics in the context of hunger

27 February 2024

Sudan: healthcare and epidemics in the context of hunger

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Since 15 April 2023, when conflict erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces, the situation has continued to deteriorate, with over eight million people forcibly displaced. Sudan’s health system has been stretched to near collapse, with reduced capacity despite overwhelming need as disease outbreaks, malnutrition, and non-communicable diseases are on the rise.

Conflict and violenceDisplacementHealth
Sudan: Humanitarian response by local, national actors and the diaspora

23 January 2024

Sudan: Humanitarian response by local, national actors and the diaspora

DOCUMENT / PDF / 2 MB

This report aims to highlight the roles, capacities, and challenges that Sudanese humanitarians face in responding to the needs of conflict-affected people. Since armed confrontations broke out, the local humanitarian landscape has evolved, but little is known and understood of local capacities.

Humanitarian access
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