Sudan is a Northeast African nation that looks to the Red Sea, with a population that now stands at 45 million. Sudan as a nation has faced extreme adversity throughout its past, as the occupation of Sudan by Britain and Egypt until 1956 manifested a series of civil wars that have ravaged the nation. Today sees Sudan in a dire situation, an ongoing humanitarian crisis has now resulted in a state of turmoil – with poverty reduction in Sudan now representing one of the global priorities for humanitarian institutions to tackle.
Poverty in Sudan
Poverty reduction in Sudan today, represents one of the most challenging obstacles for the nation, as well as global aid institutions to tackle. The current situation in Sudan is a multifaceted issue, according to UNICEF: “COVID-19, flooding, rising food prices, conflict and disease outbreaks have left 13.4 million people – more than a quarter of Sudanese – in need of life-saving aid.” As of 2020, roughly 77% of the population of Sudan was living under the poverty line.
Several factors represent the causes of the current situation in Sudan. Firstly, a prominent history of civil war and conflict in the nation has caused untold bloodshed across the span of decades. Secondly, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would have a detrimental effect on the people of Sudan, as economically, the pandemic would further escalate the outstanding issues of low-wage income across the nation. Thirdly, after South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, a substantial number of Sudanese and South Sudanese were displaced as a result of the conflict.
Efforts to Reduce Poverty in Sudan
Humanitarian efforts in Sudan to tackle the ongoing and escalating crisis have remained one of the leading priorities in recent times. Leading financial global institutions such as The World Bank, have aided Sudan’s situation in setting up initiatives and projects that provide relief. The Sustainable Natural Resources Management Project, for example, which concludes in 2023, has provided invaluable assistance in promoting sustainable agriculture to provide much-needed water access to communities.
UNICEF has also played a vital role in poverty reduction in Sudan. According to data from the 2014 Household Budget and Poverty Survey, child poverty rates rose to 85% in 2020. To combat the extremely high rate of child poverty within Sudan, UNICEF introduced the Mother and Child Cash Transfer Plus initiative. This program helps to provide the most basic necessities to newborns and mothers, providing financial support, “health care, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection.”
In 2021, UNICEF released a Humanitarian Relief Statement highlighting the effectiveness of the important assistance provided. Among the most notable successes were increased access to education, improved sanitation and reduction in malnutrition.
Due to the unstable political situation that has enveloped Sudan over the past couple of years, the means of supplying humanitarian aid to Sudan has intensified. However, with growing hope that the situation has a solution, humanitarian efforts appear to represent the most viable option for poverty reduction in Sudan.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is currently in the process of attaining funds for its Humanitarian Response Plan. As of September 2022, the plan requires a further 68.5% of funding to meet its $1.9 billion total. The plan consists of 233 projects and will aim to reach 10.9 million people in 68 localities. As outlined in the plan, the three primary strategic objectives are to provide life-saving assistance and prevent mortality, to provide a greater service of basic amenities to vulnerable people and through humanitarian action, to lessen protection risks and needs.
– Jamie Garwood