Sudan refugees and returnees flee to South Sudan Sudan refugees and returnees flee to South Sudan  (ANSA)

A call for peace: Sudan's humanitarian crisis in the wake of civil war

Sudan faces a harrowing humanitarian crisis due to ongoing conflict, causing widespread displacement, shortages of essentials, and loss of lives.

By Francesca Merlo

Sudan is suffering an alarming humanitarian crisis. Since the eruption of civil unrest in April 2023, conflicts have ravaged communities, leading to the displacement of an estimated millions of families seeking safety from the turmoil.

This upheaval has not only shattered livelihoods but has also separated families, leaving vulnerable children and entire communities struggling with acute shortages of vital resources, including food and medicine.

Catastrophic numbers

The human toll of this crisis is staggering. Reports indicate that over 3 million Sudanese have been internally displaced, seeking refuge in makeshift camps where access to basic necessities remains severely limited. But the number of people who have fled their homes is as high as 5.3 million.

Equally staggering is the number of deaths in these six months of conflict, with over 9,000 being reported. Tragically, these dire conditions and the loss of thousands of lives underscore the urgent need for immediate intervention.

Prayer for peace

In his General Audience on Wednesday, 15 November, Pope Francis once again called for prayers for Sudan, echoing his consistent plea for spiritual support for the country.

The Holy Father has frequently emphasized the importance of collective prayer and solidarity to alleviate the suffering faced by the Sudanese people.

Struggle of aid organisations

Despite efforts by international aid organizations, the persisting conflict continues to impede the smooth delivery of vital support to all regions in need. This obstacle highlights the critical need for a ceasefire, ensuring access to humanitarian aid to reach every affected individual without trouble.

Steadfast in its commitment to peace and compassion, the Holy See has underscored the imperative for all involved parties to prioritise dialogue and reconciliation.

Holy See's stance

The Holy Father has asked for prayers for peace in the region in numerous occasions prior to his General Audience of 15 November.

Notably, at an Angelus address in April, shortly after the beginning of the conflict, the Holy Father stressed: "Unfortunately, the situation in Sudan remains grave; thus, I am renewing my appeal so that violence ceases as soon as possible and that the path of dialogue resumes. I invite you all to pray for our Sudanese brothers and sisters", an invitation which he renews often and which he hopes is valid for every single day and every country at war.

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15 November 2023, 12:27