Sudan could soon have 10 million internally displaced people, UN agency says


Residents wait to collect food in containers from a soup kitchen in Omdurman, Sudan March 11, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig

GENEVA, June 7: The number of people internally displaced in Sudan due to conflict could soon exceed 10 million, the United Nations migration agency said on Friday, in the world's largest displacement crisis.

Fighting broke out in the capital Khartoum in April 2023 and quickly spread across the country, reigniting ethnic bloodshed in the western Darfur region and forcing millions to flee.

"How much suffering and loss of life must the people of Sudan endure before the world takes notice? Isn't 10 million internally displaced enough to compel urgent global action?" said Mohamed Refaat, Sudan's Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"Every one of those 10 million displaced life represents a profound human tragedy that demands urgent attention."

The IOM recorded 9.9 million people internally displaced across Sudan this week. Prior to the war, there were already 2.8 million internally displaced people, according to the IOM.

In total, about 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes, with more than 2 million crossing into neighbouring countries, including Egypt and Chad.

Refaat said that more than half of the internally displaced people in Sudan were women, and a quarter of them were children under five.

He said aid agencies were struggling to keep up with the rising needs.

"Funding shortfalls are impeding efforts to provide adequate shelter, food and medical assistance," Refaat said.

"Serious concerns are mounting about the long-term impact of displacement on Sudan's social and economic fabric."

U.N. agencies have warned that Sudan was at "imminent risk of famine", with around 18 million people acutely hungry, including 3.6 million children who are acutely malnourished.

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