Delegation of the European Union to Sudan

Sudan and the EU

13/05/2016 - 17:26
EU relations with Country

Sudan is the third largest country and the ninth largest population in Africa. Just like Europe, Sudan is united in diversity of languages, religions, cultures and ethnic groups.

The relations between Sudan and the European Union (EU) began in 1975. The EU is represented in Sudan by a fully accredited diplomatic mission. The EU Delegation is located in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum is headed by an EU Ambassador.

The EU Delegation undertakes intense coordination with the EU Member States regarding political, security, development, humanitarian issues; and press and visibility, consular, administrative and protection of human rights.

There are 8 member states that are officially accredited and resident in Sudan. They are: Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Romania and Hungary.

The EU wants to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Sudan. To achieve this EU implements five political approaches.

First, the EU meets with the Sudanese government, political actors, women and youth groups, as well as civil society for dialogue. The dialogue is focused on issues of joint interest, such as peace and stability, inclusive and sustainable development and prosperity, democratization and respect for human rights. The informal dialogue allows both the EU and Sudan to address common issues of interest, including global challenges such as climate change and regional issues such as migration and cooperation in the Nile Basin.

Second, the EU encourages Sudan's constructive engagement with its neighbours and supports regional integration and trans-boundary cooperation. The EU wants to see Sudan active in the area of North, Central and Horn of Africa through positive diplomatic relations and constructive cooperation through the regional organisations like the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), League of Arab States (LAS) and other institutions. The EU supports those organisations and supports its member states to play a peaceful and stabilising role.

The December revolution of 2018 has shown that the people of Sudan have protested not only against the dramatic price increases of essential goods, but also and mainly for freedom, peace and justice. Thus, as third, the EU supports this aspiration and have expressed to the government that was sworn in Sudan in August 2019, the readiness to accompany the peaceful transition both, politically and economically.

Fourth, the European Union plays an important role in building bridges between Sudan and Europe. EU bodies like EU Parliament (EP), European Commission (EC), European External Action Service (EEAS), European Development Aid and Cooperation (DEVCO), European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), and European Union Member States work together, hand in hand, in full cooperation and coordination to this end through a steady flow of high level and technical visits and through a wide range of programs in Sudan.

Fifth, the EU addresses issues of peace, democracy, human rights, sustainable development and humanitarian assistance also in regional and international fora. The EU continues to support the Sudanese government in the international forums and organisations and platforms to receive political and financial support. The EU will continue to do that as long as the government in Sudan is working for peace, freedom and justice.


Development Cooperation is one of the main pillars of EU presence in Sudan. The current value of funding for the EU support in Sudan is approximately € 240 million. The EU has 70 ongoing projects and programmes in Sudan.

EU projects and programmes are implemented by 50 partner local and international organisations. The EU does not implement the projects directly, this is done by national and international NGOs, EU Member State Agencies and UN organisations. EU support is aligned with government strategies that target vulnerable groups and key sectors for sustainable development. The current portfolio of EU projects and programmes spans across the sectors of health, education, food security, climate change, environment, migration, technical cooperation, private sector support, governance, civil society, peace building and human rights. As Sudan has not ratified the revised version of the Cotonou Agreement, the core instrument for EU engagement in Sudan is the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). The EU has since 2015 made available around € 200 million for Sudan under the EUTF to improve the living conditions of refugees, IDPs and their host communities. The EU does not provide support directly to the Government of Sudan. EU Development cooperation is largely undertaken in the peripheral areas of Darfur, East Sudan and in the southern border areas, as well as in Khartoum. Northern regions of Sudan are also targeted for support to improve resilience to climate change.

European cooperation in Sudan has been implemented in accordance with the EU Short Term Strategy (2016-2017) for Sudan and global EU Development policies, notably the 2017 EU European Consensus, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Commission Communication on Forced Displacement and Development, the Joint Communication on A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU's external action, the EU Agenda on Migration, the Valletta Action Plan.

The EU also has important mechanisms to support democracy and human rights initiatives. Civil society plays a vital role in any society and hence is also the focus of a large part of EU work in Sudan. Building on the experience and lessons from the European project, the EU also implements projects for regional integration, e.g. trade and energy.

The country is also part of the EU response to the food security and El Niño crises and of the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) for the Horn of Africa, as well as benefitting from EUTF programmes implemented at regional level.


Humanitarian Aid The EU is one of the largest humanitarian donors in Sudan. Most of the EU’s humanitarian assistance in the country is supporting projects implemented by UN agencies and international humanitarian organisations. Since 2011, the EU has allocated over €463 million in life-saving assistance to people in Sudan affected by food insecurity, undernutrition, conflict, and natural disasters. Overall relief efforts continue to respond to the most vital needs despite numerous existing challenges, such as a critical funding gap, the lack of emergency capacity, and a restrictive and insecure operating environment. The majority of EU humanitarian aid in Sudan goes to food assistance and nutrition. It supports the most vulnerable households – mostly internally displaced and refugee families - that struggle to acquire sufficient food to meet their needs. The EU also contributes to the nutritional treatment and care across Sudan for children under five, and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. In 2018, EU humanitarian partners treated more than 215,000 mothers and children suffering from severe undernourishment.

Sudan is host to over 3 million displaced people who have had to flee home for their safety, from within Sudan itself or other countries. Humanitarian demands in the country are simply huge. Since 2018, a sharp economic downturn and price inflation have exacerbated an already severe humanitarian crisis.

The EU has offices in both the capital, Khartoum, and Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. EU humanitarian experts regularly travel to the country to assess the multitude of needs. They also identify gaps in the humanitarian response, and monitor EU-funded humanitarian projects carried out by partner organisations.

Considering the pressing demands of the situation, the provision of humanitarian assistance to crisis-affected people of Sudan remains a priority for the EU. The European Commission supports a principled and needs-based approach aimed at providing relief directly to those affected most.

For more information:

About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid:

The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

Through the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

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