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Qatar, Egypt agree to launch initiative to support Sudan humanitarian aid

June 4, 2023 at 10:26 am

An aid cargo is offloaded from a plane which arrived earlier in Port Sudan, on May 5, 2023 [AFP via Getty Images]

Qatar and Egypt have agreed to launch an initiative supporting Sudanese people, as the conflict in Sudan continues to rage almost two months on.

In a phone call yesterday between Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the two leaders discussed a number of regional issues and ways to strengthen bilateral ties in various fields, including helping to alleviate suffering in Sudan.

According to Egyptian presidential spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy, cited by media reports, the leaders emphasised the importance of working to “contain the humanitarian situation in Sudan, facilitate the flow of relief aid, and spare civilians the impact of the clashes.”

Al Thani and El-Sisi also agreed to launch “a joint initiative to support and provide relief to Sudanese civilians with an aim to mitigate the repercussions of the crisis on the Sudanese population.” That initiative will be “carried out through the provision of humanitarian and relief services, provided that the concerned authorities in the two countries will develop the relevant executive framework and mechanisms.”

READ: Aid agencies in Sudan grapple with looting, bureaucracy to deliver relief

The discussions on the planned initiative were confirmed by the Amiri Diwan of Qatar – the Emir’s administrative office – which issued a similar statement and agreed to intensify their “joint coordination to provide support and assistance to Sudan and ease the consequences of the conflict.”

Since 15 April, the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been battling for control of the country following a disagreement regarding the integration of the RSF into the military.

As a result, at least 866 civilians have been killed in the fighting and thousands more have been wounded, with the toll potentially being much higher. Around 1.4 million people in Sudan have also been forced to flee their homes for other areas within the country or in neighbouring countries, and foreign diplomatic missions have also been evacuated.

Both Doha and Cairo are involved in humanitarian assistance to Sudan’s people, with the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) last month allocating $5 million to support UN humanitarian efforts in Egypt for Sudanese people fleeing to the country, and with Qatar having sent medical aid to Sudan along with essential food items.

READ: Violent clashes resume in Sudan capital Khartoum