Sunday, May 26, 2024

$3.5m in humanitarian support for Sudan

Aotearoa New Zealand will provide NZ$3.5 million to help meet urgent humanitarian needs in Sudan, Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has announced.

Fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces has had devastating impacts for civilians, with at least 705 people killed and 5,287 injured to date.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is gravely concerned by the conflict in Sudan .We call for both sides to halt the fighting and agree to a lasting ceasefire to ensure the protection of civilians and non-combatants and bring an end to the suffering of the people of Sudan. Returning Sudan to a state of peace, and restarting the transition to democracy, is a significant matter for countries in the region,” Minister Mahuta said.

New Zealand will contribute NZ$2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support its response in Sudan, she confirmed.

“The ICRC has a strong presence across the country and works in partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to provide a range of protection and assistance to affected communities. Since the conflict began last month,  the ICRC has been providing urgently needed supplies to medical facilities.”

“The effects of the conflict have been felt beyond Sudan’s borders, with more than 248,000 people already displaced to Sudan’s neighbouring countries — a number which is set to rise further in the coming weeks.”

New Zealand is also contributing NZ$1.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support its regional refugee response. UNHCR has been registering new arrivals, providing shelter and relief items, and supporting mobile health clinics.

The UN estimates that more than 843,100 people have been displaced within Sudan since the conflict began. Access to essential services, including healthcare, clean water and electricity, has been severely disrupted and the price of food, fuel and other basic goods has skyrocketed. 

“New Zealand urges parties to abide by their public commitment to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law principles during this conflict: civilians and humanitarian workers must be protected, aid must be allowed to reach affected communities, and medical personnel, facilities and equipment must be spared to save lives.”

“My thoughts remain with the Sudanese people impacted by the fighting,” Ms Mahuta said.

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