Patients board an ICRC flight evacuating war wounded civilians, from Adré, Chad at the Sudanese border, to N’Djamena. Patients in need of maxillofacial and neurological surgery will finally receive treatment after days of anxiety and uncertainty. 11/07/2023 Copyright ICRC

Sudan: Urgent humanitarian response needed as fighting enters fourth month

Khartoum (ICRC)—As the fighting in Sudan enters its fourth month, people in Khartoum, Darfur, and other areas are living in dire conditions with very little access to health care, water, and electricity as food prices surge across the country. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating dramatically, and people require urgent humanitarian assistance in the absence of a political solution.
News release 14 July 2023 Sudan

“Civilians and essential infrastructure must not be targeted and should be protected at all times,” said Martin Thalmann, the head of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan. “Aid workers should be granted guarantees from all parties to access affected areas to deliver humanitarian assistance. This is crucial to deliver lifesaving supplies to hospitals, provide clean water, and restore electricity.”   

The intense fighting in Khartoum, Darfur, and other parts of Sudan has led to thousands of casualties, more than two million people displaced from their homes, and hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking safety in neighboring countries, most notably Egypt, South Sudan, and Chad.

The ongoing hostilities have also brought the country’s health care system to its knees, with approximately 80% of hospitals and health facilities no longer functioning in most areas affected by the conflict. This puts an immense burden on existing health structures, which now must cover ongoing health needs as well as large numbers of wounded patients and displaced people.

The ICRC and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) continue to cross frontlines, evacuate the most vulnerable, aid in the transfer of released detainees, and support hospitals in and around Khartoum, Darfur, and other parts of Sudan. In neighbouring Chad, the ICRC is supporting health care services to refugees as well as helping people establish contact with their families.

With both parties to the conflict, the ICRC engages in a dialogue on international humanitarian law and intervenes for the plight of people who are missing, separated from loved ones, detained, or killed.

Since the fighting started on April 15, the ICRC has:

  • Evacuated 301 children and 72 caretakers from Maygoma orphanage in Khartoum to Wad Madani

  • Distributed surgical supplies sufficient to treat hundreds of severely wounded and hospitalized people to 10 hospitals in Khartoum and the surrounding areas, as well as to 4 hospitals in Darfur and 6 hospitals in other regions of Sudanc

  • Deployed a surgical team to Abeché in eastern Chad to treat an influx of people with gunshot wounds who fled from Sudan seeking safety and medical care

  • Donated medications to cover the primary healthcare needs of 10,000 people in several health centers

  • Together with the SRCS, provided hygiene kits to more than 400 displaced families in Wad Madani

  • Facilitated around 2,600 phone calls between family members

  • Facilitated the release of 125 detainees, including 44 wounded soldiers, in central Khartoum to Wad Madani, as well as the release of 14 people in Al Fashir in its role as neutral intermediary and following a request by the parties to the conflict

  • Donated 9 tons of chlorine to the water authorities in Khartoum to ensure access to clean water

  • Donated body bags and personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, gowns, overalls, sanitizer, and fuel) to the SRCS in Khartoum so volunteers can continue the challenging task of collecting and identifying human remains in the capital

  • Donated 33 first-aid bags to the SRCS in Khartoum for their volunteers to assist people with minor injuries


Note to the editors:

The ICRC has been present in Sudan since 1978 helping people affected by the conflict in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The ICRC's work today, independently or in cooperation the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, includes supporting hospitals and health facilities with equipment and supplies, working with local water authorities on improving people's access to clean water and supporting the authorities in providing rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. Currently, the ICRC is present in Khartoum, Wad Madani, Darfur, Port Sudan, Kassala and Damazine.

Media contacts:
Adnan Hezam
(AR, EN), ICRC Cairo,, +20 155 168 00 68