(Portland, OR) August 28, 2023 — Ongoing conflict and escalating violence are causing widespread suffering and loss of life in Sudan daily. The fighting is impeding the flow of humanitarian aid, preventing the rebuilding of damaged health facilities, and exacerbating the malnutrition crisis. Additionally, a deadly measles outbreak in White Nile state has claimed hundreds of children’s lives – a devastating turn to this seemingly endless tragedy.

In response to urgent and growing needs, Medical Teams International and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently completed a joint assessment in seven White Nile state refugee camps, overcrowded to more than double their capacity and thus at high risk for infectious disease outbreaks. This study has informed Medical Teams’ proposal to significantly improve and expand upon the delivery of health and nutrition services in these and additional areas.

Medical Teams, supported by funding partner UNHCR, is building up its programs across the region to serve more people, nearly tripling our number of staff who will be serving nine refugee camps and host communities in Gedaref and White Nile states. White Nile State hosts the largest refugee population in Sudan with over 330,000 refugees and 1.2 million internally displaced people. These high numbers, coupled with the breakdown in national infrastructure and service systems due to the conflict, has created severe stress and weakened the already strained and overloaded resource capacity and available services. In partnership with UNHCR, Medical Teams will establish a response in White Nile to respond to the most urgent needs of the catchment population, such as pregnant and lactating women, people with chronic disease, and children under 5 years old.

“Without question, White Nile State in Sudan is one of the most dangerous places on the planet for children and other vulnerable populations, given lack of access to food, raging conflict, and most recently a deadly measles outbreak,” said Martha Holley Newsome, President & CEO of Medical Teams. “We aim to continue saving lives and improving conditions through our expansion with UNHCR in the coming months, but far more global attention and resources are critically needed.”

The conflict in Sudan that started in April between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has led to nearly 4 million people fleeing their homes, becoming internally displaced persons or refugees in the wider region. More than 6 million are on the brink of famine and more than 14 million children are in need of humanitarian aid, according to UNHCR.

Medical Teams is a fully registered non-governmental organization operating in Sudan. Medical Teams has worked in partnership with ZOA International in Gedaref since May 2021 and currently has institutional funding from UNHCR and World Food Programme (WFP) to provide primary health and nutrition services. Medical Teams, now registered in both Gedaref and White Nile states, is able to work independently and as funding opportunities allow to expand programs to other states.

For more information or to donate, visit https://www.medicalteams.org/country/sudan/

About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.