Humanitarian situation and response in Sudan

Summary report

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About the event

The ongoing fighting in Sudan has a devastating impact on the population: more than three million people have been displaced, and 24.7 million – over half the population – are in need of assistance. Aid organizations are struggling to adjust and increase their humanitarian efforts and programmes: employees of five international and national aid organisations operating in Sudan told reporters that their employers had suspended humanitarian and development programmes. The humanitarian response in Sudan is dealing with funding and security constraints, and tries to navigate its way through bureaucratic obstacles imposed by authorities. Sudan’s war is barely a few months old, yet aid actors already fear international fatigue and neglect.

Shocking numbers: more than three million people have been displaced, and 24.7 million – over half the population – are in need of assistance.

Relief workers are struggling to get visas, there are restrictions on importing supplies, and permits needed to move aid across the country are difficult to obtain.

As we are dealing with so many challenges to get humanitarian aid to the places where it is most needed, whilst Sudanese civilians are struggling to survive and face high levels of violence every day, there is a strong need to exchange amongst practitioners working in the Sudanese context.  

Topics for reflection, to enhance cross-learning:

  • What are the main humanitarian (access) challenges which organizations are facing?
  • How do humanitarian organizations deal with those challenges and how to create and preserve humanitarian space? 
  • What does conflict sensitivity mean in the current context in Sudan, and how does it define and shape our programming?
  • Which actors are best placed to operate in conflict hotspots, and how can the international community support and learn from those actors?
  • How can we together -policy makers, humanitarian practitioners, researchers- make sure to keep the conflict in Sudan on the international agenda? How can we expand our collective impact to improve the situation for Sudanese civilians?


  • Anette Hoffmann, Senior Research Fellow, Conflict Research Unit, Clingendael Institute,
  • Tinomuzivashi Zhou, PLAN Head of humanitarian action, DRA joint response lead,
  • Leon Willems, Senior Advisor, Free Press Unlimited,
  • Saad Abdulmahmoud, engaged with several humanitarian initiatives of Sudanese diaspora organizations,
  • Marie Smit, Second Secretary, Development & Humanitarian Affairs, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sudan, Eritrea & Chad.

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