Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Thursday, 18 April 2024
Jesuit Refugee Service: “Don’t abandon the people of Sudan” amid raging violent conflicts elsewhere” :

One year since Sudan civil war broke out, the leadership of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is urging the international community to include the “suffering of the people” in the Northeastern African nation among its priorities even as they attend to the needs of victims of violent conflicts in other regions of the world. 


In a statement that ACI Africa obtained Monday, April 15, the leadership of the entity of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) weighs in on the effects of the war that broke out on 15 April 2023, between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary force under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and army units of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) that are loyal to the head of Sudan's transitional governing Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.


Due to the yearlong violent conflict, “Sudanese people now face much greater threats to their safety and security, housing, water, food, essential health infrastructure, and education,” JRS officials say.


They add that “Sexual and gender-based violence is dramatically on the rise and we witness a sharp increase in family separation” because of the Sudan war.


“Together with the 3.8 million internally displaced persons from past internal conflict, Sudan currently faces the largest internal displacement crisis in the world and the most significant child displacement crisis, with more than 3 million children displaced inside and outside the country,” officials of the Jesuit entity say.


Some 18 million people in the Northeast African nation, JRS officials say, are facing acute food insecurity and it “is the highest recorded share of people facing this level of food insecurity during Sudan’s harvest season.”


They also highlight the threat of disease outbreak as a concern, adding that this may be worsened by the shortage of healthcare.


“The facilitation of cross-border operations from Chad and South Sudan is critically and urgently needed,” JRS officials further say.


They fault the international community for not adequately supporting the needy amid the yearlong violent conflict. JRS officials say they find it regrettable that “the funding coverage for the UN humanitarian response appeal for Sudan is currently only 7 percent.”


“The 2024 Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan also urgently requires $1.4 billion to continue critical life-saving interventions and protection to 2.7 million refugees, returnees, and host communities in five neighboring countries,” they say.


JRS officials add, “In all, some 24.8 million people – almost one-half of Sudan’s total population of 51 million – are in need of humanitarian assistance.” 


While they take note of “many positive grassroots efforts to support” the victims of the Sudan civil war, JRS officials still emphasize that much help is needed.


Some of the positive efforts aimed at supporting the victims of the war include “peacebuilding initiatives by religious and traditional leaders and financial provision flowing from the Sudanese diaspora”.


“We urge the international community not to abandon the people of Sudan, despite the focus on conflicts elsewhere,” they emphasize.


They add, “We appeal urgently for much greater international humanitarian support to mitigate the enormity of the suffering of the people.”


The conflict, which started in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, and became a full-fledged civil war in the entire Northeastern African nation has reportedly killed at least 14,700 people and injured almost 30,000 more. The number of people displaced by conflict since the war broke out inside and outside of Sudan has reached 8.2 million.


In their statement, JRS officials “call for much more assertive and coordinated international engagement in seeking increased humanitarian access (including facilitation of cross-border operations from Chad and South Sudan), diplomatic solutions to achieve an urgent ceasefire, and an end to a conflict that has now created one of the world’s largest hunger crises in 2024.”