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France to host humanitarian conference for Sudan in April

February 15, 2024 at 2:35 pm

Internally displaced Sudanese citizens suffer humanitarian aid shortage as they take shelter in a school building after migrating to the east due to the ongoing civil war between the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Port Sudan, Sudan on January 03, 2024. [Ömer Erdem – Anadolu Agency]

France will hold a ministerial-level humanitarian conference in mid-April to help Sudan and neighbouring countries cope with the fallout of a civil war that has seen millions displaced and prompted warnings of famine, Reuters has reported.

The UN has urged countries not to forget the civilians caught up in the war in Sudan. It has appealed for $4.1 billion to meet the country’s humanitarian needs and support those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

Half of Sudan’s population — around 25 million people — need humanitarian assistance and protection, while more than 1.5m have fled to the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan, according to the UN.

READ: UNICEF: 700,000 children in Sudan at risk of worst form of malnutrition

“It cannot become a forgotten crisis,” French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne told a hearing in parliament. The conference, he confirmed, will be held on 15 April.

The 10-month war in Sudan pits the country’s armed forces against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Diplomatic efforts have so far failed to end the fighting.

French diplomatic sources said that the conference will bring together ministers from neighbouring countries, regional actors and Western states, as well as UN agencies and non-profit organisations working in the area.

There will also be talks on the political situation, although the main warring factions were not due to be invited, said diplomats.

READ: 5 million people in Sudan face ‘emergency levels’ of hunger: UN