Geneva/Cairo/Port Sudan – Up to 300,000 people have fled Sudan’s second largest city, Wad Madani in Aj Jazirah state, in a new wave of large-scale displacement after fighting spread to the area, according to initial estimates by the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)
Nearly half a million men, women and children, had taken refuge in Aj Jazirah state since the start of the crisis in April. Thousands are again on the move, many in panic, fleeing fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that broke out in the outskirts of Wad Madani on 15 December.
“This is a human tragedy of immense proportions, deepening the country’s already dire humanitarian crisis,” said IOM Director General Amy Pope. “The intensifying conflict and growing displacement underscore the urgency of a peaceful resolution, the need for a ceasefire and a robust response to avert a wider catastrophe.”
Conflict-displaced people have sought refuge in various neighbouring states, many crossing to South Sudan through the Renk border crossing point. Given the scarcity of available transport options, many people have reportedly fled on foot and are currently sheltering in open areas, improvised shelters, schools, and within the host community.
“For over eight months, the people of Sudan have been forced to endure the brutal realities of conflict. Their lives have been shattered, their families torn apart, and their dreams of a peaceful future lie in ruins. Continued violence would further devastate the country and destabilize the region,” DG Pope added.
IOM has been at the forefront of the response since the onset of the crisis, delivering essential life-saving aid to nearly 660,000 people in Sudan and neighbouring countries.
Located 140 kilometers southeast of the conflict-torn capital Khartoum, Wad Madani, sits at the heart of Al Jazirah state, known as Sudan’s agricultural breadbasket.
These latest movements will push Sudan’s total displaced population beyond 7.1 million, the world’s largest displacement crisis. More than 1.5 million people have fled to neighbouring countries, a staggering number in a country reeling from conflict, food insecurity, and economic collapse.
All humanitarian field missions within and from Aj Jazirah state, a vital humanitarian hub for humanitarian operations in Sudan, have been suspended, jeopardizing the already fragile delivery of critical aid to over 270,000 people in need within Wad Madani and the displaced populations fleeing the ongoing violence, according to the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan.
Sudan is facing one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, with nearly 25 million people requiring humanitarian assistance and protection. Access to basic necessities such as food and health care has been severely disrupted.
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