Humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa: Switzerland increases aid for people in Sudan

Press releases, 15.04.2024

At the international donors' conference on 15 April 2024 in Paris, Switzerland pledged CHF 19 million to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Sudan. As a result of the ongoing hostilities over the past year, the country is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. To date, 8.6 million people have been displaced, and the country is on the brink of a devastating famine. From the beginning of the crisis, Switzerland has been actively engaged at multiple levels to help end the conflict and improve the situation on the ground.

On 15 April 2024, exactly one year after the outbreak of conflict in Sudan, an international donor conference was held in Paris. Under the leadership of France, Germany and the EU, the aim was to mobilise urgently needed support to finance humanitarian aid for the affected people in Sudan and its neighbouring countries. At the conference, Switzerland pledged CHF 19 million for 2024 to support the people suffering from the consequences of the conflict. At the same time, the approximately 60 participating states called on the conflicting parties to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the country. "Today, this region needs our solidarity more than ever," said Ambassador Nicolas Randin, SDC assistant director general and head of the Sub-Saharan Africa Division, who represented Switzerland in Paris.

The fierce conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces militias has led to a severe deterioration in the security situation and humanitarian conditions for the people of Sudan. More than 8.6 million people have been displaced so far, including 4 million children. Two million people have fled to neighbouring countries, especially to Chad, South Sudan and Egypt. According to UN figures, of the 49 million people living in Sudan in 2024, 25 million will need humanitarian aid, and almost 18 million people are already suffering from acute hunger.

Switzerland is also working at the multilateral level to promote peace, ensure the protection of the civilian population, improve the humanitarian situation and find a political solution to the conflict in Sudan. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Switzerland supported a resolution on 7 March 2024 calling for an immediate end to hostilities and respect for international humanitarian law. Switzerland is also present on the ground, providing its good offices. Through its peace diplomacy instruments and its special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Switzerland is working in particular to create opportunities for inclusive dialogue aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict.

Although Sudan's neighbouring countries themselves face major humanitarian challenges, they are taking in a large number of refugees. In light of this situation, the SDC increased its humanitarian aid for Sudan and the neighbouring countries last year. The SDC's support package for the Sudan crisis includes financial contributions and the deployment of specialists from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to multilateral partner organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), which are active in Sudan and its neighbouring countries. This is in addition to contributions to the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In total, Switzerland has made CHF 83 million available for humanitarian aid since the beginning of the war, of which around one third has been allocated to Sudan and two thirds on its neighbouring countries.

Further information:

News article: Sudan: a man-made humanitarian disaster
Sudan's unseen crisis: a humanitarian disaster overlooked by the global community
Sudan, SDC

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