ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on the Outbreak of Fighting in Sudan

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Family walking in Sudan
© UNICEF/UN0831618/AFP On 19 April 2023, people flee their neighborhoods amid fighting between the army and paramilitaries in Khartoum, Sudan.

As the fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continues to spread and the death toll amongst civilians continues to rise, I, on behalf of Education Cannot Wait, am profoundly concerned by the situation in Khartoum and Darfur and condemn this latest eruption of violence. The warring factions must respect international law and do everything in their power to protect civilians, including children and adolescents. Having lived and worked in Khartoum for years, I am saddened that nearly 16 million Sudanese and refugees with humanitarian needs continue to suffer, all while UN and NGO colleagues have had to suspend or limit their much-needed operations.

According to the latest figures from OCHA, at least 330 people have been killed nationwide, 115 of them in Khartoum. At least four aid workers have been killed while carrying out their lifesaving duties in Darfur, three from the World Food Programme (WFP) and one from Relief International. Nearly 3,200 people are reported to be injured, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

While the UN, the AU, IGAD and others have called for an immediate ceasefire, the fighting could quickly escalate into a full-blown and prolonged civil war, with potentially devastating consequences for the civilian population.

Indeed, many children have already been caught up in the fighting, sheltering in schools while their safe passage was being negotiated. Most of them have now been able to return home, but tragically there have been many fatalities and injuries amongst school-aged children and adolescents, both in Khartoum and in the Darfurs.

ECW has to date invested $ 21.7 million in education for refugees and host-communities in the Sudan, providing access to inclusive and equitable quality education across some of the most remote and underserved areas of the country, including Gedaref, South Kordofan and West Darfur.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Sudan and are ready to extend our support to respond to the escalating needs and help protect children and adolescents caught up in this violent conflict.

About our Director

ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif
Yasmine Sherif

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