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World Humanitarian Day: UN official commends aid workers in Sudan

August 21 - 2017 KHARTOUM
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, gives a speech on the World Humanitarian Day, 21 August 2017 (UN OCHA)
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, gives a speech on the World Humanitarian Day, 21 August 2017 (UN OCHA)

On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan lauded “the thousands of humanitarian workers in Sudan who work around the clock to provide aid and long-term rehabilitation to disaster-affected communities and people in need, regardless of race, religion and politics”.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, stated in a press statement today that about 97 per cent of staff working for international aid organisations (UN and INGOs) are Sudanese. “In other words it is mostly Sudanese aid workers helping people in need in Sudan.”

The UN official as well thanked the Government of Sudan for opening up humanitarian access to areas that have been inaccessible during recent years, particularly in parts of the Jebel Marra area since the beginning of 2017. “We commend the Government of Sudan for these efforts and hope that humanitarian access will continue to improve, allowing more people in need to receive assistance in more areas.”

Concerning the outbreak of “Acute Watery Diarrhoea” across the country, Ruedas stated that “The Government of Sudan has actively moved to respond to this situation, one that has required extraordinary efforts to bring under control. Humanitarian agencies are supporting government’s efforts in this regard and will continue to do so.”

Displaced and refugees

The UN humanitarian coordinator pointed as well to the hundreds of thousands of displaced in Darfur still live in camps, in need of assistance and support. “We are working with national institutions to resolve this situation, and we call on all stakeholders to find durable solutions so that those displaced who have been in camps can take up their lives as ordinary Sudanese citizens.”

As for the growing number of South Sudanese refugees seeking shelter and assistance in Sudan, Ruedas expressed her hope that the Sudanese government and people of Sudan will continue their tradition of generosity towards migrants, and that “the policy to assist refugees living outside of camps to ensure they access basic services alongside host communities will also continue”.

Humanitarian Response Plan

In 2016, UN agencies, international and national NGOs, and other partners provided food, shelter, water, health, education and other assistance to about 3.9 million people in need across Sudan.

During the first half of this year, about 2.5 million people received food, nutrition and other assistance.

The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan appeals for $804 million, of which about $182 million has been received so far.

“We look forward to the continued generosity of donors to ensure that critical needs can be addressed in a timely manner,” the statement reads.

“In 2017, the Sudan Multi-Year Humanitarian Strategy has been launched to move toward more durable solutions and ensure that humanitarian and development partners work together to implement a long-term, sustainable approach to address new and protracted needs.”

Humility and humanity’

Ruedas concludes her statement by highlighting “the contribution of the Sudanese people themselves, the local communities, the increasing involvement of the Sudanese private sector who provide shelter, food and protection to thousands of their fellow men and women who are in need.

“I thank all our humanitarian partners, including the Government of Sudan, UN agencies, NGOs, donors and member states for your commitment, engagement and support. In particular, we thank the people of Sudan, for their humility and humanity which can be seen on a daily basis towards their countrymen and to their neighbours in need.”


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