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$283 million needed to support Sudanese affected by Covid-19

July 20 - 2020 KHARTOUM

The United Nations and humanitarian partners launched an addendum to the 2020 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan on Sunday, to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs in the country.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, called on the international community to scale up its support to Sudan and help the country to address the most immediate and critical needs of millions of people affected by the health and humanitarian consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than $283 million is urgently needed to support the government-led response and provide life-saving assistance to more than 6.7 million people across the country, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan stated in a press release on Sunday.

“COVID-19 arrived in Sudan at a time when an increasing part of the population was already struggling to meet their basic needs and the health system was already under extremely stress,” explained Son.

The pandemic has triggered a further economic slowdown amidst the ongoing economic crisis. This situation is affecting families’ purchasing capacity and the restrictions on movements is also impacting access to food, health care and basic services.

“More than 9.6 million people, almost a quarter of the entire population of Sudan, are facing severe hunger, the highest figure ever recorded in Sudan,” said Tinago Chikoto, Deputy Head of Office for OCHA in Sudan.

‘Unless we act now, we should be prepared for a series of human tragedies’ - Gwi-Yeop Son, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan

The Covid-19 addendum reflects an in-depth elaboration of the requirements for Sudan outlined in the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan for Covid-19 launched last week, and will enable humanitarians to provide food, water, sanitation, health, nutrition and protection services during the pandemic. It complements the government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the most vulnerable.

“Government and humanitarian partners are providing life-saving assistance to millions of people. Aid actors are providing the country with COVID-19 testing kits and other medical supplies. We trained over 1,600 health workers, distributed hygiene kits to nearly 500,000 people, and reached over 25 million people with campaigns to raise awareness and prevent transmissions. At least 2.8 million people were reached with food assistance in May alone,” Chikoto explained.

But more must be done, and the cost of inaction is too high. “Unless we act now, we should be prepared for a series of human tragedies,” said Son.

The humanitarian organisations in Sudan are ready to increase their operations. “We appeal to the international community to come together and to timely and generously support the people of Sudan,” she concluded.

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