Sudan crisis: Millions facing famine and in desperate need of aid, says CAFOD

The current conflict in Sudan has gripped over half the country. Fighting between the army, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, since last April has killed tens of thousands of people, as the threat of famine looms amid international inaction.

The UN Security Council has called for an urgent ceasefire, echoing urgent calls from the African Union, and leading UN figures describe the conflict as causing “one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent memory, with potential to trigger the world’s largest hunger emergency.”

“By all measures – the sheer scale of humanitarian needs, the numbers of people displaced and facing hunger – Sudan is one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory,” Edem Wosornu, director of operations at the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Wednesday.

“A humanitarian travesty is playing out in Sudan under a veil of international inattention and inaction,” Wosornu told the UN Security Council on behalf of OCHA head Martin Griffiths.

“Simply put, we are failing the people of Sudan,” she added, describing the population’s “desperation.”

According to the UN, the conflict has led to more than eight million people being displaced.

Church leaders who are working alongside those most affected have expressed their concern at the unfolding humanitarian crisis. CAFOD’s local Church partner, Caritas Sudan, has described the situation as a forgotten crisis that the international community urgently needs to address.

In a statement, Caritas Sudan said: “The ongoing crisis, compounded by security and administrative challenges, is preventing humanitarian aid reaching everyone who needs it. The coming rainy season between June and October-November will only make the situation worse.”

Pope Francis has repeatedly appealed for a negotiated solution to the conflict, and during his address on Christmas Day he recalled the suffering of the people of Sudan and asked the international community not to forget them.

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