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How to Support Humanitarian Efforts in Sudan

6 Minute Read

As the CGI community convenes to amplify support for the people of Sudan, find ways that you can plug into humanitarian efforts on the ground


April 15th marked the one-year anniversary of the civil conflict in Sudan. Over 10 million people have been displaced within and outside Sudan since the conflict began making it the largest displacement crisis in the world. According to data from the World Food Programme, 5 million of them are facing emergency levels of hunger, one level below famine. To date, international donors have pledged only 6% of the funding required to address urgent needs

To mark the anniversary, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convened leaders from across the public and private sectors to highlight humanitarian response efforts on the ground and find ways for organizations and individuals to contribute. Members of the CGI community shared updates from Sudan on humanitarian needs, priorities, and challenges.

“The response efforts in Sudan have challenged conventional approaches and exemplified progress towards established goals of localization, risk sharing, and coordination,” said Josh Balser, director of humanitarian response at CGI, kicking off the convening. “Beginning at the most grassroots level up to the international humanitarian system, we’ll look at model approaches and mutual aid networks, effective intermediaries, the emergency development overlap, and accountability and information sharing.”

Find updates from members of the CGI community from the ground – and how you can support these efforts – below.


Volunteer Civil Society Groups Organizing on the Ground

Speaking to the CGI community, ERR External Communications Officer Hajooj Kuka said, “The community needs to believe in us. They need to be part of us. They need to be the ones in the emergency response rooms. They need to volunteer and they need to cook and… they need to feel it’s theirs. If this community does not believe in this, then it collapses.”

Born out of the 2019 democratic resistance, the Emergency Response Rooms are made up of volunteer civil society groups to address humanitarian needs in Sudan due to the ongoing conflicts. Kuka shared some of the main risks these groups experience on the ground – namely, the lack of flexible financial resources readily available, the inherent dangers of operating in a war zone, and building trust with the communities where ERRs work.

More information is forthcoming about Sudan’s Emergency Response rooms, please check back soon for updates.


Connecting Donors and Doers

Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) works directly with local actors and conflict-affected communities in Sudan to determine and operationalize the best methods to get relief and cash assistance to those who most urgently need it.

Tenzin Manell, Senior Cash and Markets Advisor at CORE, spoke to the CGI community about the specific ways CORE is supporting on-the-ground humanitarian efforts, saying, “We’re [supporting] local actors to deliver multi-purpose cash assistance and group cash transfers in Khartoum… We provide training and coaching to help community groups be ready to take on greater resources, and we also support them to provide new services to address service gaps.”

The CALP Network published a blog authored by CORE and NIDAA, which highlights the four key components for the success of CORE and NIDAA’s Sudan cash and voucher assistance (CVA) program: equitable partnerships; risk sharing; learning, adapting, and sharing; and deploying multiple CVA solutions

“CORE and [the Sudanese Development Call Organization] NIDAA have supported, to date, eleven out of the nearly one hundred women’s response rooms across Sudan,” Manell added. “In Khartoum, the Women’s Response Rooms support women and children addressing their nutrition, protection, psychosocial, sexual and reproductive health, and health needs. These activities were not only a continuation of what the women’s response rooms were already doing, but also an expansion of new services available for women and children in these communities.”

To learn more about CORE’s humanitarian response efforts in Sudan, please visit this link.


Leveraging Innovative Technologies to Ensure Food Security

The conflict in Sudan is having a dramatic effect on farmers’ ability to feed themselves and their communities. Mercy Corps is leveraging data and technology, including satellite imagery to better understand the disruptions and opportunities in subsistence agriculture amid the ongoing conflict. The agricultural sector is of utmost importance in Sudan, employing over 80% of the workforce and accounting for 35-40% of GDP. The outbreak of the conflict has severely impacted the capacity of local producers. Estimates suggest that the 2023-24 agricultural season is going to see between 24-50% less yields for sorghum and millet, the country’s staple crops.

“Mercy Corps is continuing its support to smallholder farmers by working with cooperatives, microfinance institutions, and the private sector to ensure farmers can access affordable inputs and financial resources,” Sibongani Kayola, Sudan Country Director for MercyCorps, told the CGI community.

To learn more about MercyCorps’ humanitarian response efforts in Sudan, please visit this link.


Tackling the Information Crisis and Supporting Journalists

As the people of Sudan contend with internet shutdowns and a lack of outlets providing trusted information, Internews supports local journalists and media organizations to maintain their operations. In 2023 Internews established the Risk and Response Fund via a CGI Commitment to Action. This fund allows Internews to support partners in crisis, in some cases by evacuating journalists to safety. Internews also supports radio stations and other media outlets at border crossing to help refugees access information such as where to get food and water.

Meera Selva, the CEO of Internews Europe, spoke about the country’s information crisis, saying, “We have an information vacuum there and as we all know, vacuums are dangerous. There’s spaces in which you get extremism, you get polarization, you get misinformation, and here because you also have a conflict situation and a humanitarian crisis, people are unable to access the information they need to literally save their lives.”

To learn more about Internews’ humanitarian response efforts in Sudan, please visit this link.


Tom Perriello, the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, urged international action to support the people of Sudan.

“While the other day was the anniversary of the war, last week was the five-year anniversary of the revolution, and it was women and young people who had risen up to throw off an autocrat against all odds, against all beliefs from the outside and began this inclusive democratic future for Sudan. That future is largely represented by people under the age of 25 in Sudan and that’s what we’re investing in. We’re investing in whether that generation and that vision of Sudan’s future is going to come to pass – and we do have a path to peace.”