Since conflict erupted in Sudan on April 15, hundreds of lives have been lost and thousands of people have been injured. Civilians caught in the crossfire are sheltering in place without basic necessities such as food, water and medical supplies. Others have been forced to flee their homes, leaving behind everything they own and facing violence and unsafe conditions in the process.
Amid the chaotic situation, local and international Red Cross and Red Crescent teams have mobilized resources to support and aid those affected by the conflict. More than 200 Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) volunteers have deployed to Khartoum to offer first aid services and psychosocial support to those affected. They stand ready to assist those in need in the most severely impacted zones when it is safe to do so. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and numerous partners National Societies remain in Sudan in order to support the SRCS staff and volunteers.
Red Cross Asks for Civilian and Infrastructure Protections
Red Cross officials ask that all parties involved take precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life and protect vital civilian infrastructure. It is critical that Sudanese Red Crescent Society volunteers and other first responders are able to safely care for the wounded and collect dead bodies in a dignified manner. With every single hour that the wounded and the sick don’t receive urgent assistance, the human toll continues to grow. Additionally, Red Cross officials are asking that healthcare facilities be protected, and their personnel and transport given safe passage. It is an urgent priority for humanitarian teams to be able to reach these facilities and for maintenance teams to reach power and water stations.
Fighting in Urban Areas
The fighting in Khartoum and other parts of the country is taking place in densely populated urban areas and endangering civilians' lives. Shrapnel and stray bullets are flying around in residential neighborhoods. Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives and thousands more have been injured. The Red Cross fears the numbers will rise. The injured need immediate medical attention but hospitals in Khartoum and other parts of the country affected by violence are running out of supplies and medical personnel cannot access health facilities due to the fighting. Red Cross teams are receiving calls from hospitals that are trying to deliver aid with supplies dwindling and without electricity and water.
Red Cross Commitment
Red Cross officials reiterate that the people of Sudan will need support today and in the weeks and months to come. Find more information here about the IFRC’s Disaster Emergency Relief Fund, which has already released over 450 million dollars to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.
If you are unable to locate a loved one who has been impacted by the current events in Sudan, the Red Cross may be able to reconnect you through the Restoring Family Links program.
Immediately following any international disaster or major event there is a moratorium on accepting any Restoring Family Links enquiries. Right now, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) can only accept Allegations of Arrest and Allegations of Detention. Tracing and Family News cases cannot be accepted at this time. When the SRCS has the capacity to also provide RFL tracing services, our national headquarters office will be notified and will communicate this information to local American Red Cross regions.
In the interim, anyone unable to contact their family located in the affected area is encouraged to continue attempting contact through normal communication channels (phone, email, WhatsApp) and checking social media. Calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines. Enquirers should also attempt to contact other family members who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought persons.
More information about Restoring Family Links be found here or by calling the helpline at 844-782-9441 for updates.
Americans Living in Sudan
If you are a U.S. citizen in Sudan, please contact the U.S. State Department for more information. They recommend filling out the following crisis intake form. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Sudan can also call 1-888-407-4747 (in the United States) or +1 202-501-4444 (from overseas) for immediate assistance.
Can I volunteer or donate in-kind goods?
While we are grateful for the outpouring of support, it’s important to know that neither the American Red Cross, nor our global Red Cross partners, are accepting the donation of in-kind goods such as food, clothing, blankets or toys at this time. These items can be difficult to manage on the ground and divert resources from our mission.
The American Red Cross sends highly specialized and experienced professionals with technical skills and expertise abroad only after the Red Cross or Red Crescent team requests assistance. Currently, we have not received this request for assistance. When that request is made, those not already on the Red Cross’s international disaster roster will not have the opportunity to deploy. We encourage you to contact your local Red Cross chapter for future opportunities or visit redcross.org/volunteer for more information.