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European Union External Action

Sudan and the EU

Sudan is the country with the third largest territory 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 began in 1975.  The European Union is represented by a delegation, which is a fully accredited diplomatic mission.  The Delegation is headed by the EU Ambassador and forms part of a network of 135 EU Delegations across the globe.

The Delegation to Sudan is the workplace of European and Sudanese colleagues; advisers, programme and project managers, administrators, accountants, secretaries, assistants, drivers and guards.

The European Union engages in political dialogue with Sudanese interlocutors.  It provides development assistance (0.7 billion Euros since 1993).  And humanitarian aid (more than 1.2 billion euros since 1994). The 2016 global strategy for the European Union's foreign policy and security policy established the framework for the work of the European Union in third world countries, including Sudan. Hence, the Delegation ensures the follow –up of this strategy, which focuses on security, global resilience, dealing with conflicts, regional collaboration and global governance.

The Delegation undertakes extensive coordination with EU member states in these areas. We also collaborate on public diplomacy to maintain visibility, awareness and understanding of the European Union.

The European Union does not seek to impose its values and interests.  Our role is to share these with our partners, and through dialogue and constructive engagement to seek to improve relations and the living conditions of vulnerable people in countries where we work.

Given the success of the European project, we also work to support regional integration efforts and trans-boundary cooperation.


The European Union conducts dialogue with Sudanese officials, political parties, youth organizations, women and youth groups, religious, parliamentary, business and civil society leaders. The dialogue addresses common issues of interest. Maintaining high and muli-level engagement with Sudan to continue the efforts for peace in Sudan and the region is a priority for the European Union.

To this end we pursue open, genuine, and comprehensive interactions. The European Union will continue to encourage Sudan's constructive efforts in terms of peace and security in the wider region.

The European Union delegation also organizes high level visits and exchanges. In March 2017, Jan Figel the special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union visited Sudan. Also in March 2017, 19 EU diplomats from the European Council Africa Working Group visited to discuss political developments. In April 2016, Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development visited Sudan. In February 2016, Ibrahim Gahndour, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Brussels and met with senior EU officials.

The European Union also addresses issues of peace, democracy, human rights, sustainable development and humanitarian assistance in regional and international for a. Hence, we collaborate actively with partners such as the United Nations, the African Union, the league of Arab States and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).  In this vein, the EU and its member states are funding and supporting the African – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).  Moreover, the European Union provides both technical and financial assistance to the African High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan.


The European Union cooperation in Sudan is implemented in accordance with Sudan Term Strategy (2016-2017) and global EU Development policies. The European Union current portfolio of projects and programmes spans from health, education, agriculture and food security sectors. The European Union also has important mechanisms to support democracy and human rights initiatives. Civil society plays a vital role in any society and hence it is also the focus of a large part of our work here in Sudan. Building on the experience and lessons from the European project, we also seek to support projects for regional integration.

The current value of European Union support for projects in Sudan is 250 million euros.  Funding is provided from various EU sources like: the European Development Fund, the European instrument for Democracy and human rights, the Instrument for contributing to Security and Peace and the Food Security budget lines. Our projects and programmes are implemented by 92 partner organisations, 25 of which are Sudanese. The European Union does not provide support directly to the government of Sudan. However, our support is aligned with government strategies that target vulnerable groups and key sectors for sustainable development.

Sudan is host to, transit route and country of origin for very large numbers of refugees and migrants. In a very complicated context, the European Union is seeking to support Sudan to manage these flows better. Our emphasis is on securing the human rights of these persons and affording them protection. Support to communities hosting these groups is also an EU priority.

EU Development cooperation is largely under taken in the peripheral areas of Darfur, East Sudan and in the southern border areas, as well as in Khartoum. In the future, northern regions of Sudan are targeted for support.

The European Union responds to emergency needs of the people of Sudan. Conflicts have led to massive population displacements, severe food insecurity and excessively high levels of malnutrition. Since 1994, the EU has disbursed more than 1.2 billion euros in humanitarian aid to help victims of man-made and natural disasters including 31 million euros in 2017.

The European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) acts on all fronts, helping thousands of forcibly displaced people and refugees while addressing the impacts of natural disasters and supporting the crucial fight against malnutrition.  The EU provides support to partners (NGO's, Red Cross/ Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies) in the field of health and nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter, protection, emergency education, food security and livelihoods.

The European Union is one of the world's largest humanitarian donors and humanitarian assistance remains a priority for the EU.  In close collaboration with the implementing partners, EU humanitarian funding is providing humanitarian assistance directly to the neediest vulnerable populations.  The EU seeks to mobilise support rapidly when humanitarian needs emerge, often in volatile and restrictive environments.

ECHO maintains autonomous offices in Khartoum and Nyala, responsible for monitoring humanitarian projects funded by the EU and for assessing humanitarian needs and identifying critical gaps in the response.

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