UK charity Muslim Hands urges the opening of safe humanitarian corridors in Sudan for aid to be delivered to those most in need. On 15th April 2023 conflict erupted, killing hundreds, injuring thousands, and forcing nearly 100,000 to flee to neighbouring countries. The country is already in a humanitarian crisis with one third of the population living with food insecurity and nearly five million displaced within and outside Sudan. The current violence driven by competition for land and water has aggravated the situation further, forcing markets to close and food prices to soar. The cost of basics such as vegetables has tripled in some areas of the country and other items like sugar have disappeared altogether.
Muslim Hands has been working in Sudan since 2003 implementing long-term intervention around areas which include education, water projects and food security, as well as responding to emergencies such as the pandemic and floods that have devastated the country. Our team on the ground are seeing the recent ongoing devastating violence first hand.
Ismail Abdallah, Muslim Hands Country Manager in Sudan, said: ‘There is chaos everywhere. Those that have tragically lost their lives remain unburied. We have lost our colleagues, including an Arabic teacher at one of our schools. And why? Because he was unable to get his heart medication. Food warehouses, shops and banks remain closed. There is a severe shortage of food and cash, and travel is never safe. Hospitals and pharmacies are closed too. The Sudanese people are living in desperate times.’
Closer to home, staff in the UK offices at Muslim Hands remember loved ones that have no choice but to stay in Sudan amid the violence. Ayman Agabani, Digital Manager, said: 'Many of my close family members are stuck inside Khartoum, unable to leave their homes due to the war. Water supplies have run out and electricity is cut. Yet even inside their homes they are not safe, as homes are being ransacked by armed forces and criminal gangs. Those who have fled the capital are hoping to find a safe haven. Unfortunately, we have already lost family members, and the fear is that the longer the conflict continues, the more lives will be lost. I've personally seen the life changing projects MH carries out in Sudan, with aid and assistance needed now more than ever to help those trapped in the war zones and those hoping to escape.’
Yasrab Shah, Muslim Hands UK Fundraising Director, said: ‘We are hopeful that the recent announcement of a ceasefire will allow organisations like Muslim Hands to actively respond to the enormous need in a safe capacity. We have been working in Sudan for 20 years and through this have established strong relationships with key partners. Our teams are actively carrying out needs assessments and liaising with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that when possible, we can provide the support the Sudanese people desperately need in a timely and efficient manner.’