Norway increases support for civilians in Sudan

‘The humanitarian situation in Sudan is catastrophic. More than five million people have been forced to flee their homes since the war broke out. Norway is now providing an additional NOK 20 million for food, water and protection to help civilians to survive,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

On 15 April armed conflict erupted in Sudan. The humanitarian needs were substantial even before the war. After six months of heavy fighting the humanitarian needs are enormous. So far, 5.7 million people have had to flee their homes, and the number rises daily. More than a million people have escaped to nearby countries.

‘I am extremely concerned by the large number of displaced people. Norway commends the adjacent countries for keeping their borders with Sudan open. We are aware that these neighbouring countries face their own humanitarian challenges, so we hope Norway’s contribution can help to keep the civilian population of Sudan from having to flee,’ Ms Tvinnereim said.

Half of Sudan’s population, about 25 million people, require humanitarian assistance to survive. Limited humanitarian access and a lack of basic security are among the main challenges. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 70 per cent of Sudan’s healthcare system has been destroyed and 65 per cent of inhabitants are without health services.

‘Diseases such as malaria, dengue, cholera and measles have caused much loss of human life. Displaced children are particularly vulnerable,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

Bombing of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, has damaged critical services, including the supply of electricity. There have been reports of widespread sexual violence and systematic offences against ethnic groups. The need for food, now and in the weeks to come, is both significant and acute. According to the United Nations, 42 per cent of Sudan’s population is experiencing acute food crisis or worse. That figure is the highest in the country’s history. At the same time, the Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan is greatly underfunded. Of the amount that the UN estimates is necessary to provide basic humanitarian aid to all who need it, only 33.5 per cent has been funded.



Total Norwegian humanitarian assistance to Sudan so far this year comes to about NOK 260 million. To date in 2023 the Norwegian support has been distributed as follows:

  • Norwegian humanitarian organisations such as the Norwegian Refugee Council, Norwegian Church Aid, Save the Children and the Norwegian Red Cross: about NOK 123 million
  • UN system: NOK 137 million:
    • World Food Programme (WFP): NOK 45 million, including NOK 15 million for the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS)
    • UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): NOK 50 million (for Sudan and neighbouring countries)
    • UN country-based humanitarian fund (Sudan Humanitarian Fund): NOK 42 million

Additional Norwegian support passes through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which were put to work as soon as Sudanese refugees began crossing the borders. So far this year Sudan has received USD 60 million through CERF. Every 10th dollar is from Norway.