Germany pledges more Sudan aid as European leaders push for funding on war anniversary

Women unload bags of sorghum from a WFP truck

Women unload bags of sorghum from a WFP truck in Gumuruk, South Sudan. Almost eight million people in South Sudan are at risk of hunger, the United Nations warned in a report on November 3, 2022.

Photo credit: AFP


Germany will provide a further 244 million euros ($260 million) in humanitarian aid to war-torn Sudan, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday as European diplomts met in Paris to mark the first anniversary of the devastating conflict.

"We can manage together to avoid a terrible famine catastrophe, but only if we get active together now", Baerbock said, adding that, in the worst-case scenario, one million people could die of hunger this year.

The United States, hoping the Paris conference could loosen purse strings elsewhere, also planned to announce an additional $100 million in aid, Reuters reported on Sunday.

At Monday's meeting, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné was also joined by top EU diplomat Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.

"It is obvious that the series of crises - I am thinking of Gaza and Ukraine - have pushed the Sudanese crisis into the background", Sejourne said.

French President Emmanuel Macron was scheduled to meet Borrell and Lenarčič at the end of the conference, according to the EU's external action office.

The war in Sudan broke out on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). It has devastated infrastructure, prompted warnings of famine and displaced millions of people inside and outside Sudan.

Thousands of civilians have been killed, although death toll estimates are highly uncertain, and each side has been accused of committing war crimes. Both sides have largely denied the accusations against them.

The World Health Organization said on Friday that the crisis could worsen in the coming months as the distribution of humanitarian aid and medical supplies remains restricted.

Last week, US Special Envoy Tom Perriello called the international response so far "pitiful".

"We're at 5 percent of the needed amount," he said, adding that the US had already committed over a billion dollars in humanitarian relief to the conflict.