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Sudan: Endless Plights

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Euro-Med Monitor
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Sudan suffers severe crises that have deepened over the past decades due to conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters, violations, in addition to the lack of the most basic civil rights. The country in Northeast Africa is classified as one of the worst countries in terms of nutrition, education, health care, and basic social services.

Sudan›s suffering is not only about wars and conflicts, but it affects all walks of life, which in turn have brought about poverty and marginalization that has intensified since the beginning of 2019, and made millions of Sudanese live in catastrophic humanitarian conditions at all levels.

The difficult economic reality, characterized by high rates of inflation, has exacerbated poverty, diseases, recurrent climate disasters, and conflicts. According to the Sudanese Central Bureau of Statistics, inflation rates have reached %212 last September, and the average price of the local food basket increased by about %200 compared to 2019, in addition to the deterioration of the Sudanese pound (0.018 US dollars per the Sudanese pound), which resulted in a weak purchase power of families, who spend about %65 of their income on food. This increased hunger and reduced access to other basic services such as health and education which are indispensable for the survival of Sudanese families.

The floods crisis that struck Sudan last September was also a major reason for the exacerbation of the crises facing Sudan. These floods, which affected at least 16 Sudanese states, have destroyed a large number of houses, agricultural lands and infrastructure, and affected vital sectors in the state, such as the health sector, education, food security, and means of subsistence. According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 875,000 people have been affected by the floods in Sudan since the rains began, more than 150 people died, more than 82,500 homes have been completely destroyed, and about 600,000 agricultural and pastoral families have been affected. In addition, these floods polluted clean water in about 13 Sudanese states, which increases the possibility of disease outbreaks, and put the lives of more than 10 million people at risk of contracting transmitted diseases.

The poverty rate in Sudan, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Finance, is about %65. This percentage is expected to increase due to the damage the floods left where hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and livelihoods.

As for the food crisis, one in four Sudanese today face food shortages due to the high prices, as droughts and floods have destroyed agricultural lands and made people unable to farm, according to estimates published by the Relief Web site.

About 2,700,000 Sudanese children under five years of age suffer acute malnutrition, and about 522,000 of them suffer severe acute malnutrition. These children are mostly vulnerable to health complications related to water pollution and transmitted diseases, especially after the unprecedented floods that swept most regions of the country.

The Sudanese do not only suffer a lack of food. About 4,900,000 Sudanese lack access to adequate quantities of safe drinking water and they may face water-related diseases after the floods polluted water after thousands of toilets were destroyed, which forced thousands of Sudanese to depend on unsafe water sources and to defect in the open air.

In terms of the health sector, about %36 of primary health care facilities across Sudan are inoperable, due to many reasons, most importantly the poor infrastructure and the acute shortage of medical staff.

As for the educational sector, it is one of the most affected sectors by the crisis. During the popular movement (2019-2018), for example, schools were closed for long periods, as was the case in March 2020 due to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID19-).

According to figures and statistics by UNICEF, more than 8,100,000 students throughout Sudan have been affected by the closure of schools, in addition to 3,600,000 children who were not able to enrolled in schools in the first place, at a time illiteracy rates among females reached about %45.

In this report, Euro-Med Monitor sheds light on the crises afflicting Sudan, which threaten an imminent and devastating humanitarian catastrophe. The report reviews testimonies of Sudanese who illustrate the nature of the daily suffering resulting from these crises. The report touches on the legal aspect that deals with these crises at the local and international levels.