Khartoum, Sudan – The United States is concerned about the alarming malnutrition rates and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur where the lives of thousands of children and vulnerable adults are at stake. Recent nutrition screenings and surveys show critical levels of severe acute malnutrition indicating a complex humanitarian crisis that demands an urgent, multi-sector response. The scale and scope of the humanitarian emergency discovered in recent weeks reveal the consequences of the longstanding conflict and limited access in Darfur.
Despite an active response by the United Nations (UN) and various relief agencies, the situation remains dire and must be urgently addressed through coordinated action and humanitarian access to all areas affected by this crisis without hindrance. The U.S. Agency for International Development supports nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance in addition to providing essential food assistance for general food aid distributions in Darfur. We commend our various humanitarian partners and relief agencies for their rapid response to the dire situation in Jebel Marra. We also note the recent improvements in humanitarian access that have allowed for this critical nutrition assessment and humanitarian response.
The urgency of the humanitarian situation in Jebel Marra demands accountability and a commitment by all parties to end the conflict that is causing this crisis. The situation is exacerbated by the inability of both sides – the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese Liberation Army – to agree to a cessation of hostilities. We also call on all actors to facilitate access to affected areas. We call on the Government of Sudan to allow the UN-AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to open a temporary operating base in in the Jebel Marra town of Golo, as mandated in UN Security Council Resolution 2363 (2017), that would provide much-needed security presence to enable the humanitarian response effort and facilitate civilian protection in Jebel Marra. The United States, which remains the largest single humanitarian donor in Sudan, will continue to provide strong support for UNAMID and the ongoing humanitarian operations in Darfur, and will continue to engage the Government of Sudan to improve humanitarian access and cease hostilities to bring an end to conflict in Sudan.