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UN: Covid-19 response in Sudan requires coordination so aid can continue

April 7 - 2020 KHARTOUM
World Food Programme staff load bags of food into lorries at a WFP warehouse based in El Fasher, North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)
World Food Programme staff load bags of food into lorries at a WFP warehouse based in El Fasher, North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)

23 UN organisations have called on the government of Sudan to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance in Sudan to the most vulnerable people in Sudan, including to contain, test and treat Covid-19 “amid the largest global challenge since World War II”.

A statement today issued by the office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan says that the UN and partners reached over 7 million people in need in 2019. We plan to reach 6.1 million people in need in 2020.

“If not properly coordinated, aid delivery may be delayed or fail to go ahead as a consequence of Covid-19,” said Gwi Yeop Son, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan. “The United Nations is staying and delivering assistance in Sudan.”

As of April 7 there are 14 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Sudan with the chance that case numbers will rapidly increase.

Gwi Yeop Son, the UN Resident and
Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan (UN)

 

Specifically, the UN cited three areas in which it needed to coordinate with Sudan’s government: Fast track the entry of health and humanitarian workers into Sudan; fast track or lift travel restrictions within the country on essential people including medical and humanitarian workers inside Sudan; allow United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to continue to undertake approved internal and external flights in line with critical lifesaving programming.

“Already, the United Nations is coordinating with Sudan’s government in some of these areas. But as Covid-19 spreads in Sudan, we need to ensure this cooperation continues so lifesaving operations can reach people in need.”

The statement concludes that across Sudan, about 9.3 million people require humanitarian support in 2020. The United Nations humanitarian plan in Sudan is only 14 per cent funded.


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