Macron Announces World Donors Pledge $2.1 Billion In Aid For Sudan

0
398

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that world donors pledged more than $2.1 billion in humanitarian aid for Sudan after a yearlong war that has pushed its population to the brink of famine.

Macron spoke at the end of an international conference in Paris aimed at drumming up support for Sudan’s 51 million people.

The aid will go to food, water, medicines and other urgent needs, he said, without providing a specific timeline.

Top diplomatic envoys, U.N. officials and aid agencies urged Sudan’s warring parties to stop attacks on civilians and allow access to humanitarian aid and called for immediate international mediation efforts toward peace.

Members of Sudan’s civil society took part in the Paris meeting, but neither the Sudanese army nor its rival paramilitary were represented.

“Today, from this mobilisation, all of our presence, it sends a clear message we are sending to the belligerents.

“We are making a solemn appeal out of respect for international humanitarian rights and the protection of the civil population,” Macron said at the conference.

Sudan descended into conflict in April last year when simmering tensions between the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces exploded into open fighting in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere across the country.

The United Nations’ humanitarian campaign needs some $2.7 billion this year to get food, health care and other supplies to 24 million people in Sudan — nearly half its population.

So far, funders have given only $145 million, about 5%, according to the U.N’s Humanitarian Office, known as OCHA.

More than 14,000 people have been killed and at least 33,000 have been wounded in the yearlong war.

Nearly 9 million people have been forced to flee their homes either to safer areas inside Sudan or to neighbouring countries, according to the U.N. Hunger, sexual violence against women and girls and continued displacement are rampant and much of the country’s infrastructure homes, hospitals and schools has been reduced to rubble.

“We cannot let this nightmare slide from view,” Guterres said in a video message to the Paris conference.

“It’s time to support the Sudanese people. It’s time to silence the guns,” he added.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said the conference aimed to mobilize humanitarian funding to help Sudanese people, who have been victims of both a “terrible war” and “international indifference.”

The European Union’s crisis management commissioner, Janez Lenarcic, said the 27-member bloc wants to ensure that Sudan is not forgotten as wars in Gaza and Ukraine dominate the international news.

“People of Sudan, caught up in this emergency, are almost completely invisible,” Lenarcic said. Sudan has turned into one of the worst humanitarian disasters ever on the African continent, he said, and added: “It is our duty not to look away.”

President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mirjana Spoljaric warned that humanitarian action is increasingly politicized in Sudan and humanitarian workers are risking their lives to get vital aid to people.

“Securing a military advantage cannot be pursued regardless of the human cost,” Spoljaric said.