Concerns about the safety of children and girls as the conflict in Sudan escalates
TORONTO, ON, April 28, 2023 – The plight of families, especially children and girls, in Sudan remains uncertain amid ongoing conflict, increasing concern for their well-being and safety.
"We are devastated that children and their families remain caught up in these horrific clashes between armed groups. We hope the conflict will be resolved soon to allow families caught up in the violence to receive support, recover and rebuild their lives," said Mwape Mulumbi, Country Director, of Plan International Sudan.
"The situation is very tense as fighting continues with an escalation of safety concerns for our staff and families. The increase in looting is extremely worrying around the residential area of Khartoum."
With communication the most significant challenge, the extent to which children, especially girls, have been affected by the ongoing conflict is unclear. As an international development and humanitarian organization, Plan International urgently calls for protecting children from conflict.
Plan International stands with the children and families across Sudan who have experienced high trauma levels, protection risks, and hardships, including lack of access to food and water. Children in Sudan should not grow up in fear of violence, and all parties involved in the conflict must prioritize protecting civilians and allowing rescue and humanitarian personnel safe access, respecting international humanitarian law.
Plan International is ready to respond to communities to offer psychosocial support, safe spaces for children, and referrals to trauma centres for families in need.
How can Canadians help?
People in Canada can support Plan International’s humanitarian relief efforts by donating to our appeal here.
Eyewitness accounts from Plan International staff
These accounts have been condensed and anonymized to protect the identity of staff members as attacks on foreign embassies and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in Sudan are increasing.
"Confusion and fear have dominated in Sudan. When the clashes started, people who had gone to work were all over the place running back home, and there was heavy shooting everywhere with thick smoke covering the sky. At this moment, all the streets are empty.”- Plan International humanitarian worker, Sudan.
"What is happening in Sudan is unfortunate. The humanitarian needs are growing every hour – children and young people have been stranded outside, unable to reach their homes. Homeless children, those living on the streets, are in dire need of support. Given the circumstances, it is a tough balancing act – economizing on internet, water and electricity usage, trying to stay positive emotionally, keeping an eye on the news to get more information, checking on my colleagues who reside in locations that are being shelled, and ensuring my family back home has information about my safety." –Plan International staff, Sudan.
"As the conflict continues to rage on around us, I remain anxious for the great Sudanese people, especially for my team's safety. In solidarity with local actors and international agencies with mandates around protection, we are working together to send out messages on how children can keep themselves safe, particularly from unexploded ordnances." –Plan International staff, Sudan.
About Plan International Canada
Plan International Canada is a member of a global organization dedicated to advancing children's rights and equality for girls. Plan International has been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 85 years and is active in more than 80 countries. We stand with children, especially girls, wherever they are oppressed, exploited, left behind or not equally valued. We're determined optimists, and we will continue to persevere until we are all equal.
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