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UN: Sudan being subjected to a ‘series of tragedies’, needs urgent assistance

Sudanese medical laboratory students prepare sterilisers to combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 n Khartoum, Sudan on 14 April 2020 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]
Sudanese medical laboratory students prepare sterilisers to combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Khartoum, Sudan on 14 April 2020 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]

The United Nations has declared that Sudan is in dire need of more than $283 million to support the government in facing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, warning of a “series of tragedies” if no measures are taken promptly.

Gwi-Yeop Son, the UN Coordinator for Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan, called for increased support for Sudan and assistance to the country to meet “the urgent and critical needs of millions of people affected by the health and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

A UN statement pointed out Sudan’s urgent need for more than $283 million to “support the government-led response and provide life-saving assistance to more than 6.7 million people across the country.”

The UN official said the economic slowdown which has resulted from the global pandemic has exacerbated the country’s financial crisis and comes at a time when “the health system was already under severe pressure”.

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“The situation has affected the purchasing power of families, and restrictions on movement have also affected access to food, health care and basic services,” the UN official said.

“More than 9.6 million people, nearly a quarter of the total population of Sudan, are facing extreme hunger, and this is the highest number ever recorded in Sudan,” she said.

The UN statement indicated that the additional appendix of the pandemic “reflects an in-depth detail of Sudan’s requirements set out in the United Nations Global Human Response Plan for the Covid-19, which was launched last week to enable humanitarian workers to provide food, water, sanitation and health, and nutrition services and protection during the pandemic.”

The appendix complements the efforts of the government and its social programs to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the most vulnerable groups.

“The government and humanitarian partners are already providing life-saving assistance to millions of people. Aid workers are also providing the country with testing kits and other medical supplies,” the UN official said.

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She added in this context: “More than 1,600 health personnel were trained, we distributed hygiene kits to nearly 500,000 people, and we reached more than 25 million people with campaigns to raise awareness and prevent infection. At least 2.8 million people were provided with food assistance in a month (May).”

The United Nations Coordinator for Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan stressed the need to “do more, because inaction can have a high cost, and unless we act sooner, a series of tragedies may occur.”

She also announced that humanitarian organisations in Sudan are ready to increase their operations, calling on the international community to unite and support the people of Sudan.

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AfricaCoronavirusInternational OrganisationsNewsSudanUN
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