Sudan: Displaced, Refugees in Sudan and Chad in Dire Need of Food

Kadugli / ED Damazin / Khartoum / Oure Cassoni (Chad) — KADUGLI / ED DAMAZIN / KHARTOUM / OURE CASSONI (CHAD)

Displaced in Blue Nile region, Kordofan, and Darfur, as well as refugees in Chad and Sudan are reporting serious food shortages. Displacement is one of the major drivers of humanitarian needs in Sudan, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan.

People who fled fighting in Lagawa in West Kordofan in June and October last year, are still living in camps in Delling and Kadugli in neighbouring South Kordofan. The situation in their home area is still tense. Skirmishes erupted again a few days ago, the Lagawa Displaced People Committee reported on Thursday.

The South Kordofan Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Rawya Kamal, told Radio Dabanga that the situation in the Kadugli and Delling makeshift camps is stable, but the thousands of displaced are facing food shortages. “Two-month rations of aid were distributed two days ago and the state’s Central Health Emergency Department will dispatch a number of humanitarian convoys in the near future, but this is far from enough,” she said.

South Sudanese refugees in the South Kordofan capital of Kadugli complain about reduced food rations.

“Most families are struggling to find food after the rations provided by the international organisations were reduced when they were replaced by cash support per person,” refugee Peter Hor Kojoi told Radio Dabanga.

“The amounts disbursed every two or three months are small and do not match the fabulously high prices of all sorts of food, so the people attempt to to earn some extra money by working on farms in the vicinity.

“There they are prone to shooting and looting by herders,” he explained. “While the wages are not sufficient to cover all our needs for food, drink, and treatment.”

Blue Nile

In Ed Damazin, capital of Blue Nile region, a lack of food is forcing displaced to return to their villages, despite the poor security situation which prompted them to leave in the first place.

“People who fled attacks on their homes in Geisan are calling for help,” displaced activist Salah Ed Dalil told Radio Dabanga from Ed Damazin on Thursday. “They are facing hunger and are trying to return to their areas of origin, where they hope on support from their relatives who may have been able to harvest some of their crops,” he said.

Ed Dalil accused the federal and the Blue Nile authorities and aid organisations of neglecting them.

“Many displaced feel trapped. They even do not find a means to return because of a lack of transport in the area.”

Displaced Yousef Mohamed confirmed that “the almost complete lack of services inside the camp for days compels the people to leave. It is better to return and live in whatever situation with relatives and neighbours in our own areas, especially as the tensions there have been relatively absent.”

Fatima Abdallah said that in particular the children in the camp are suffering from the food shortages “while many people are not able to return because of the lack of transportation means”.

Intercommunal violence in the northern part of Blue Nile region in July and September last year led to the displacement of at least 66,000 people.


In all five states of Darfur, displaced are suffering from food shortages, the head of the National Commission for Human Rights, Rifat Mirghani, told Radio Dabanga.

“I believe that the humanitarian situation in the camps is worsening day by day. There is a deterioration in all human rights, especially clean drinking water, sufficient nutrition, and health services,” he said.

He called on the Sudanese authorities “to address these conditions, secure the region, and arrange compensation and provide housing so that the people will be able to return to their area of origin, and provide for their own income again”.

Eastern Chad

More than 38,000 Darfuri refugees in the Oure Cassoni camp in eastern Chad suffer from severe food shortages, a community activist reported from the camp.

“After the suspension of food aid by the World Food Programme (WFP) in October last year, the situation deteriorated rapidly,” he explained. “We still could cultivate some crops on the farmlands around the camp, but the harvest season end last year completely failed due to large numbers of pests. In particular children, elderly, and pregnant women are suffering from symptoms of malnutrition.”

Last year, the WFP announced that it had to cut rations in Sudan due to funding shortages.

WFP is having to prioritise assistance based on the resources available and “make heart-wrenching decisions, knowing that we cannot help everyone in Sudan who needs it,” the UN organisation said in a statement in July.

The October 2021 military coup has significantly worsened the situation for many people as Sudan was denied more than $4.4bn in foreign aid, its trade balance deficit nearly tripled, and humanitarian organisations struggle to continue their activities in the country.

OCHA said in it its Digital Situation Report two days ago that about 3.7 million Sudanese are displaced, including the more than 350,000 people who were newly displaced last year.

End 2022, the UN agency reported that “humanitarian needs across Sudan are at an all-time high”. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Sudan will rise to 15.8 million in 2023, equivalent to about a third of the population, which represents an increase of 1.5 million over last year.