Saudi Arabia and the UK have announced a joint donation of $9.16 million to support the humanitarian response in Sudan, which is facing multiple crises including conflict, displacement, food insecurity and economic collapse, born out of the protracted fighting between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The donation was made through a remote signing ceremony on Wednesday between the King Salman Saudi Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) and the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Abdullah al-Rabeeah, Royal Court Advisor and Director of KSrelief, and Andrew Mitchell, British Minister of State for Development and African Affairs, remotely signed the agreement.
This aid fund comes in response to the request through the humanitarian appeal launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Sudan. The funds will be used to provide emergency assistance to millions of people affected by the humanitarian situation in Sudan, including refugees, IDPs, host communities and returnees.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, ICRC president Mirjana Spoljaric Egger said that "the funding would help the organisation provide a neutral and impartial response to the victims of the crisis, enabling the committee's teams to respond quickly and effectively to the changing needs of the population".
According to a KSrelief statement, the donation will cover a range of areas, including protection, education, water, sanitation, hygiene and shelter. The donation, the statement said, exemplifies the strong partnership and cooperation of Saudi Arabia and the UK in helping the most vulnerable citizens of Sudan and the wider region.
Mitchell welcomed the agreement reached with the Saudi kingdom to assist the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan. Mitchell said the agreement demonstrates the close and enduring humanitarian ties between the two nations and their dedication to the world's most vulnerable citizens. Mitchell said that by working together on this joint project, Saudi Arabia and the UK will help the ICRC provide vital assistance to the millions of internally displaced people suffering the consequences of armed conflict in Sudan. He also urged all parties involved in these conflicts to respect international humanitarian law and to facilitate humanitarian access to those in urgent need.
3.7 million people have been forcibly displaced within the country, and it is estimated that almost 750,000 people have had to flee Sudanese territory to neighbouring countries. In addition, more than 15 million people face severe food insecurity.
Sudan is one of the world's largest recipients of humanitarian aid, with more than 13 million people in need of assistance. The joint UK-Saudi donation is expected to alleviate some of Sudan's humanitarian needs and contribute to its recovery and development. It also demonstrates the solidarity and friendship between the two countries and their support for Sudan's aspirations for a better future.