An imminent humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan.. Warnings of running out of water and food, and expectations of large waves of refugees

With the fighting in Sudan entering its second week, warnings of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe continue, amid fears that basic food supplies will run out, and large waves of refugees are expected to neighboring countries, especially with the worsening of the population's situation as the battles intensify.

The International Red Cross warned of the depletion of water and food among the Sudanese civilians trapped in their homes, as a result of the violent clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.

"Millions of civilians are caught up in the fighting and are rapidly running out of essential supplies," said the international non-governmental organization International Crisis Group.

She added that "the conflict could quickly degenerate into a real, permanent war" that would affect the troubled states in Sudan and then some neighboring countries.

People gather to get bread in Khartoum North
Sudanese in front of a bread distribution outlet in Khartoum (Reuters)

In turn, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society said that its stores were robbed by armed individuals (whose identity it did not specify), and added that the gunmen looted 8 SUVs and a truck belonging to the society.

The Society condemned the attack on its facilities, and warned against using its cars for commercial or criminal purposes, noting that the risks resulting from the misuse of the Red Crescent emblem will exacerbate the humanitarian situation.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that about 16 million Sudanese are in need of aid this year.

asylum waves

Reuters also quoted the director of the World Food Program in Chad, Pierre Onoura, as saying that the program expects new waves of Sudanese refugees, to add to the about 400,000 Sudanese who had fled during previous conflicts and are spread out in 14 camps.

Onura affirmed the program's readiness to receive 100,000 potential refugees, calling for securing drinking water in the arid desert region that the Sudanese resort to.

And took refuge between 10 and 20 thousand people fleeing the fighting to neighboring Chad, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Onura added that most of those who arrived in the past few days were women and children from villages on the border.

And he added, "The number of children is amazing; we were surprised to see so many children crossing the border; it broke our hearts to see the women and children under the trees, and some of them suffered violence, their homes were burned, their villages were destroyed, and their neighborhoods were completely looted."

At the end of last February, the United Nations confirmed that more than a third of the population in Sudan will need humanitarian assistance in 2023 due to hunger and the increase in the number of displaced persons.

"I really expect a mass exodus of millions of civilians at the first cease-fire," Cameron Hudson, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told AFP.

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