Italy, Spain, France and the European Union announced a joint package of humanitarian aid to support the victims of floods in Sudan. Heavy rainfall since July in Sudan has led to the River Nile rising by 18 meters. On 5 September 2020, the government of Sudan declared a state of emergency after 121 fatal cases were reported and 770,000 people affected, 600,000 people displaced and 100,000 people need urgent shelter.
Despite the flood water have started receding, the heavy rainfall and floods have shown how vulnerable is the humanitarian situation in Sudan. In addition to the economic and the COVID-19 crisies, Sudan will be put in to test again to confront the possible outbreaks of illnesses such as bilharzia, cholera and malaria. In addition, the access to safe drinking water can increase the waterborne diseases if there is no strategy in place to evacuate the flood water correctly.
On 11 September, the Sudanese government requested an international support on priority areas through the ministry of Labour and Social Development. In response to this appeal, the European Union activated the ''EU Civil Protection Mechanism'', an instrument to coordinate and expedite humanitarian aid from EU member states in humanitarian crisis situations. This initiative was a follow up on the TEAM EUROPE INITIATIVE which provided two air bridges of humanitarian support in June, in response to the Covid -19 pandemic. This second Team Europe initiative was initiated by Spain, France, Italy and the European Union.
This Team Europe Inititative will provide 50 tons of humanitarian assistance which includes 484 family tents, 3460 jerry cans, 490 kitchen sets, 1,125 sleeping mats, 500,000 water purification tablets, 200 mosquito nets, 800 blankets, 570 tarpaulins and 80 squatting plates for latrines.
The Team Europe humanitarian aid is closely coordinated with the government of Sudan and begun sending the assistance on 3 deliveries from Spain, France and Italy as of mid September.
In addition, the Netherlands has allocated an extra humanitarian contribution of EUR 1,5 million via the International Red Cross/Red Crescent, the Sudan Humanitarian Fund and the Dutch Relief Alliance specifically directed at emergency support to Sudan.
In addition, Team Europe will provide EUR 1million through the European Union. The amount will be spent on water, hygiene and sanitation assistance to help the international organizations working in Sudan prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases, provide emergency shelter, cash assistance, immediate assistance including food and medicine.
In their statements, the Ambassadors of France, Italy, Spain and the European Union highlighted that this Team Europe humanitarian and financial support to the flood victims of Sudan is a message of solidarity and support for the Sudanese people and government after the flood situation in Sudan has affected many civilians especially those in the internally displaced camps and has doubled the crisis as people fight the coronavirus pandemic at the same time. Our joint European support continues under the Team Europe Initiative, which provided similar assistance back in June 2020 for Sudan on COVID-19. The European Union and its member states will continue to coordinate their humanitarian assistance to Sudan under the Team Europe and in cooperation and consultation with the government and authorities of Sudan to ensure timely and effective response that will reach the Sudanese people and those who are truly in need of the assistance.
They also said the humanitarian assistance to Sudan goes in parallel with other interventions in the region and the world to help on the impact of climate change. The European diplomats said that the European Union countries will continue to assess the situation in Sudan and will coordinate closely with the international community to ensure that Sudan gets out of this crisis stronger and quickly to continue its path of internal reforms to achieve the goals of the transitional period.
Issued on Monday 28 September 2020, Khartoum