Funds will support life-saving health and nutrition services in White Nile State

(Portland, OR) November 13, 2023 – Medical Teams International is grateful to receive an award of $1.8 million USD from UNICEF. The funds will support one year of Medical Teams’ continuing work to provide life-saving healthcare to people facing an unprecedented and severely underfunded humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

The grant will enable Medical Teams to provide direct health and nutrition services to the displaced population of refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities in White Nile State – a total catchment population of 539,080. Among other critically needed services, it will include mobile healthcare, early detection and screening of acute malnutrition, nutrition surveillance, immunization, health monitoring, capacity-building, and community training and awareness. The delivery of services will be diversified to include fixed health facilities and feeding centers as well as community-based outreach channels.

Fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began on April 15, 2023 in Khartoum and quickly spread to neighboring cities and states. More than 5.8 million people have been displaced inside and outside Sudan since mid-April, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, making it the world’s largest crisis of this kind. Conditions in the camps are unsafe and contribute to the spread of disease, such as the deadly measles outbreak in White Nile State that the World Health Organization reported earlier this year.

As a result of the ongoing conflict, many of Sudan’s hospitals and health facilities have been severely damaged or destroyed, along with other critical infrastructure. The situation is volatile  and capacity on the ground to deliver relief services varies across the country. White Nile State is a high needs region but is relatively safe from the ongoing conflict at this time, so the UNICEF grant will enable Medical Teams to provide essential healthcare services effectively. However, a lack of critically needed staff, supplies, and medicines have severely hampered health and nutrition services in all 10 of White Nile State’s refugee camps.

Additionally, mental health and psychosocial support services are virtually non-existent. Many people arriving at the camps have been traveling on foot for weeks with little or no food and no medicines. Death rates over the past months have been climbing. Of particular concern is the lack of access to safe, clean, and supported delivery care for pregnant women giving birth. Additionally, congestion, poor shelter, and lack of water and sanitation in the camps contribute to the spread of diseases.

“While the world’s attention has largely been focused elsewhere in 2023, more than 5 million lives have been forever disrupted and many thousands lost due to the ongoing violence and mass displacement in Sudan,” said Martha Newsome, Medical Teams President & CEO. “Medical Teams is grateful to UNICEF and our private donors for entrusting us with the resources necessary to save and improve lives in White Nile State.”

In response to the large influx of refugees from northern Ethiopia into eastern Sudan that began in November 2020, Medical Teams began working in Sudan in January 2021. Since then, Medical Teams has been working directly with refugee settlements and local host communities to address the unique health needs they face. Medical Teams seeks to improve quality of care and helps to build connections to and trust in the local health system for refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities.


UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines, we support child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality education and skill building, HIV prevention and treatment for mothers and babies, and the protection of children and adolescents from violence and exploitation. For more information, visit

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 and on social media using @medicalteams.

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