1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Sudan: Paris conference raises €2 billion in aid pledges

April 15, 2024

Millions face severe levels of hunger as a result of a power struggle that broke out in Sudan one year ago. French President Emmanuel Macron says the amount gathered will help meet the population's most urgent needs.

Sudan conference
The meeting aims to draw international attention and funds as the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged country threatens to break the country into splinter statesImage: Marwan Ali/AP/dpa/picture alliance

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that Paris and its allies had collected pledges of over €2 billion ($2.1 billion) to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

His comments come at the end of a conference gathering top diplomats from France, Germany, and the European Union in Paris, where they pushed for increased funding for Sudan on the first anniversary of the conflict.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell, and the EU's Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic were attending the meeting, along with representatives from Sudan's civil society.

"We can announce that over 2 billion euros will be mobilized.... this support will be able to respond to the most urgent needs" of Sudan's population, Macron said.

He did not provide a detailed breakdown of the funding.

Macron said the situation in Sudan was "one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world" and that there was a "real risk of famine."

From left to right: Janez Lenarcic, EU Crisis Commissioner, Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister, Stephane Sejourne, French Foreign Minister and EU top diplomat Josep Borrell in front of podiums at Sudan aid conference in Paris.
Top European officials were present at the Paris conference on Sudan aidImage: Thomas Koehler/IMAGO

Guterres warns of Sudan war crimes

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that war crimes and crimes against humanity may have been committed in Sudan.

He cited indiscriminate attacks "killing injuring and terrorizing civilians" during the conflict between the RSF and the army.

"The latest reports of escalating hostilities in El Fasher — the capital of North Darfur — are a fresh cause for deep alarm," he said.

"Let me be clear: Any attack on El Fasher would be devastating for civilians and could lead to full-blown intercommunal conflict across Darfur," he said, adding that the city is a critical UN humanitarian hub.

"The main problem is clear: there are two generals that have opted for a military solution and they have until now, obstructed all serious efforts of mediation," he stressed.
According to the United Nations (UN), Sudan is experiencing "one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory."

The UN also called it "the largest internal displacement crisis in the world" as 8 million people have left their homes behind looking for safety. Plus, millions face high risks of starvation.

Aid for Sudan needs to be ramped up significantly: Kelly Clements, UNHCR

Germany announces more aid for Sudan

At the start of the conference, Baerbock announced a further €244 million in humanitarian aid for the country. "Together, we can manage to avoid a terrible hunger catastrophe, but only if we take action together now," she said. 

The UN humanitarian campaign needs some $2.7 billion this year to get food, health care and other supplies to 24 million people in Sudan. So far, funders have given only $145 million, about 5%, according to the UN's humanitarian office, known as OCHA.

The United Kingdom doubled its aid to Sudan and the surrounding region to more than $105 million while the United States promised an additional $100 milion. The European Commission is planning to commit almost €355 million to Sudan and neighboring states in 2024.

A year of war has left Sudan with a humanitarian crisis

A violent conflict that began a year ago 

In 2019, a popular uprising and a subsequent coup overthrew longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and brought a civilian government to power in the northeast African country.

Two years later, the military, under General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and a paramilitary force, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo led another coup that toppled the internationally recognized government.

The two generals, thereafter, started a bloody struggle for power last April on the streets of capital Khartoum which rapidly spread across the country.

Even as the Paris conference got underway, six more people were killed and many others injured in fighting near Dafur. The Sudan doctors' union said late on Sunday that El-Fasher hospital had reported "six deaths and 61 injuries ... following clashes" between the army and the RSF.

'A forgotten crisis,' diplomats say

Christophe Lemoine, a spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry, said that Monday's meeting aims to bring the Sudan crisis "up to the top of the agenda."

An estimated 1.8 million people have fled Sudan and 6.7 million have been internally displacedImage: Florian Gaertner/IMAGO

As Israel's war against Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US and others, and Russia's conflict in Ukraine continue to dominate headlines, the crisis in Sudan has had less attention. The UN estimated that at least 14,600 people have been killed.

 "We cannot let Sudan become a forgotten crisis," Lemoine said.

 "The civilians here are enduring starvation, mass sexual violence, large-scale ethnic killing, and executions," said Will Carter, Sudan country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council. "Millions more are displaced, and yet the world continues to look the other way."

A report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) said about 5 million people were at the doorstep of famine, while 17.7 million people were facing acute food insecurity.

At the same time, only a small fraction of relief funds has been secured where billions are needed.

"Sudan is described as a forgotten crisis," said Justin Brady, head of the UN humanitarian coordination office for Sudan. "I'm starting to wonder how many people knew about it in the first place to forget about it."

On the fifth anniversary of a fire that ravaged the French capital's Notre Dame cathedral, Save the Children director Arif Noor said it was "staggering that, after a fire in which nobody died, donors from across the world were so moved to pledge funds to restore [it]," while there was no similar international response to the crisis in Sudan.

ss, sdi/rm, wd (AFP, AP, Reuters)