As they fight to survive, women caught in Sudan’s conflict face hunger and depleting resources.
The situation in Sudan is growing dire as the country grapples with another devastating conflict.
On April 15, 2023, violent conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces broke out in Khartoum, Sudan. The conflict’s outbreak has destabilized regions already recovering from war and political instability as the deadly clashes have spread throughout the country. Women describe detainment and rampant sexual abuse as militia members invade and take over the homes of families in the midst of widespread death and fighting.
"The biggest worry right now in the light of the ongoing conflict is still [that] there is abuse, especially in Khartoum [by] the militia, who are now in the homes of the people. There are many, many cases of rape [of] women and girls."
The fighting has claimed the lives of 3,000 civilians and uprooted over 3 million people, including more than 700,000 who have fled to neighboring countries like Egypt, Chad, and South Sudan, where we have been working since 2006. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) trapped and seeking refuge within Sudan embark on a life-threatening travel to the states of Gezira and Gedaref.
Thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire, including women and children, are facing dehydration, hunger and health issues due to scarcity of water, food supplies, limited access to health care and electricity outages.
“[For] the women, I think the most urgent need is safety and security for the children, and [food] for the children.”
After the conflict broke out, we mobilized our Conflict Response Fund in Sudan and immediately partnered with Zenab Women for Development and the Sudanese Organization for Research and Development (SORD), two women's rights organizations. Our partners remained in Sudan work in some of the country’s most conflict-affected areas to provide immediate support to internally displaced women.
Through our partnership, ZWD is providing emergency kits with health supplies and food to families in Gezira and Gedaref after community vendors and stores were forcibly closed or overtaken by soldiers. These baskets, which contain rice, oil, flour and essential items like soap and sanitary pads, are the sole source of aliments for families confronted with hunger and a lack of resources due to the upending of stability in their communities and constant fighting. The organization also donates food items to schools and youth centers hosting internally displaced persons in the city of Wad Mehdani.
Likewise, SORD supplies internally displaced women and girls with dignity kits which contain flashlights and whistles to increase their safety precautions. We are also working with SORD to provide trauma-informed counseling to women who have experienced violence, and to document cases of violence against women in the hope of reaching justice for survivors.
Help us provide critical support for Sudanese women, to meet their urgent needs by donating to our Conflict Response Fund.