Brutal violence struck Sudan this month after protests erupted in opposition of the country’s current military rule. On June 3, paramilitaries opened fire into protest camps in the country’s capital city of Khartoum, killing an estimated 118 people and injuring hundreds more. At least 40 bodies were pulled from the Nile river and doctors in the country say dozens of people sought treatment for rape-related injuries after the Khartoum attacks.
The unrest comes months after the military ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir in April following 30 years in power. al-Bashir is largely responsible for the genocide in Darfur that killed hundreds of thousands of people in the early 2000s. Massive food shortages, rising prices and general dissatisfaction with leadership also motivated the coup. But since the ouster, pro-democracy Sudanese have grown dissatisfied with the military’s leadership and its failure to work with them to move Sudan in a more democratic direction and return the country to civilian rule. Talks broke down between pro-democracy protestors and the military earlier this month, and that’s when the violence escalated.
Those leading the demonstration have called for an end to the protests in an effort to facilitate peace talks and avoid further bloodshed. But little has been done to address Sudan’s broader humanitarian crisis — massive food shortages — which have only worsened amid political chaos. The World Food Programme said on Friday that about 7 million people in the country of 40 million do not currently have enough food. More than 20,000 are approaching famine.
When 26-year-old Mohamed Hashim Mattar was killed during the protests, his Instagram picture was a steel blue. That’s why you might have seen celebrities and friends on social media change their profile pictures to the hue in an attempt to raise awareness for the crisis. But is there anything else we can do other than raise awareness? Many scam fundraisers have surfaced since the worst of the crisis, whose claims of direct action have been debunked by legitimate humanitarian groups. So avoid anything that promises meals or donations in exchange for follows and shares. But as we await more information about the crisis and how to provide direct help, we’ve shared some established groups working to address Sudan’s hunger crisis. Here’s how you can help the people of Sudan right now:
People in Sudan still have no access to the internet (the military shut it off after the massacre), so it’s difficult for media organizations to capture and report the true magnitude of violence. When you find credible information, share it widely. Follow the courageous influencers sending dispatches about the crisis and amplify the voices of those on the ground.
Donate to The University of Khartoum Alumni Association’s fundraiser on Facebook
The group was created by Bakri Ali and fellow alumni of the capital city’s university. While it’s difficult to access information about the crisis given the media blackout, people associated with this fundraiser are in contact with Sudanese volunteers and organizations who are helping directly to provide food and care to those affected by the violence.
The World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest organization providing resources to fight hunger. They produced the report on Sudan’s food crisis. You can donate just $75 a month to feed an entire family. You can definitely split that with a few friends. For $15, you can help one starving person eat for a month.
The United Nations Children’s Fund
This is UNICEF, which has established ties to the region and is working to provide emergency relief, food, water, vaccines, healthcare, and more to people in Sudan. This link will send you right to a landing page to donate to Sudan specifically.
The International Rescue Committee
The IRC has long provided nutritional support to families in south Sudan, and continues to do so amid escalating violence.
Save The Children
Another established charity that has worked in the area for decades to provide relief and vital resources that keep children in Sudan alive. As the ongoing violence leaves children even more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, Save the Children provides immediate relief and long-term programs to lift children and families out of poverty.
We will update this list as we verify additional organizations taking donations that directly impact Sudan.