Funds urgently needed in response to devastating floods across much of Sudan
KHARTOUM, 24 August 2022 – Save the Children is urgently calling for new funds to respond to the worsening flood crisis in Sudan, where months of rains have killed at least 83 people and impacted more than 146,000.
The aid organisation is on the ground providing urgently needed housing, hygiene and health supplies to families across Gezira and River Nile states in Sudan, but says much more is required to meet the growing need. As downpours continue, the organisation fears more lives and homes will be lost in the coming days and weeks, with the rains expected to last through to September.
Sudan is currently experiencing its fourth consecutive year of abnormally extensive floods, with above average rainfall causing more than 80 deaths and partly or completely destroying nearly 44,000 homes across the country. Save the Children staff have reported whole villages submerged, and families losing all their belongings.
Authorities have declared a state of emergency in six of the country's 18 provinces, with Central Darfur, South Darfur, River Nile, and West Darfur among the worst affected areas. Ongoing assessments also indicate significant flooding has damaged several areas in Gezira state.
Save the Children is urging donors to recognise the severity of the flood crisis in Sudan and to release new funds to respond to the immediate needs of children and their families. The humanitarian response plan for Sudan is currently less than a third funded, leaving a desperate gap in health, shelter, and child protection.
Sudan is particularly vulnerable to impacts of the climate emergency, with extreme weather events over several decades eroding the nation’s resilience in the face of shocks like floods and drought. In recent years, the northern regions of Sudan have witnessed the Sahara Desert advance southward by almost a mile each year and a decrease in annual median rainfall of 15 to 30 percent. Sudan is also one of the top 20 countries globally most vulnerable to damage from an increase in frequency of major flood events.
Arshad Malik, Save the Children’s Country Director in Sudan, is currently assessing flood-impacted communities in Gezira state and said:
“These are some of the worst floods we’ve seen in Sudan—and Sudan is no stranger to floods. We’re witnessing whole communities wiped out by rising waters, with families fleeing with just the clothes on their backs. We also haven’t seen the end of this disaster – rains are still falling and are expected to continue right through to September.
“Save the Children’s teams are on the ground in the worst affected areas, delivering aid to those who need it the most. I’m incredibly proud of these men and women who are putting their own needs on the line to support children and families to get to safety and keep going in the midst of all this destruction.
“It’s one thing to have such devastating floods every 100 years, but in Sudan we are seeing these floods happening more regularly, and more ferociously. We can’t just expect families to be able to bounce back year after year, flood after flood. Sudan, along with its neighbours in the region, is feeling the worst impacts of the climate crisis, and yet has contributed least to its cause. We are calling on leaders in the world’s worst polluting countries – including politicians, corporations, and wealthy elites - to tackle the root causes of the climate crisis, for the sake of current and future generations of children.”
Simultaneously across Sudan, the worst food crisis in decades is putting millions of children’s lives on the line. The combined impact of conflict, climate change, COVID, and the cost of inflating food prices has left nearly 12 million people, or a quarter of the population, facing extreme food shortages.
Save the Children has been on the ground working in Sudan for nearly 40 years, running life-saving programmes across the country. We are currently supporting children and their families impacted by concurrent crises, including conflict-induced displacement, flooding, the COVID-19 pandemic, disease outbreaks, drought, and rapidly escalating hunger.
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