Doha, June 19 (QNA) – Since the first gunshot that broke out on April 15, the situation in Sudan is moving towards an escalating human tragedy. Within two months of intense fighting, there was an increase in human and material losses as a result of the comprehensive destruction of the infrastructure and state service facilities such as hospitals, educational and economic institutions, and archeological museums, and the expansion of the military operations in the west and center of the country.
Figures and statistics issued by international, regional, and local organizations convey the extent of damage that befell the country in all aspects of life as a result of the war, which places Sudan among the countries with the largest number of displaced people and refugees fleeing from battles to more food-secure and safe areas.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the war in Sudan has prompted hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes inside and outside the country. The United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP) warned that the conflict in Sudan may significantly raise food prices there and put more than 2 million people in the hunger cycle, bringing the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity in Sudan to 19 million.
Despite all the international and regional appeals and initiatives, the two conflicted parties have not been able to de-escalate the fighting through humanitarian cease-fires that allow the passage of aid to hundreds of thousands of affected civilians to reach a permanent cease-fire that opens the door to dialogue to restore the national Sudanese consensus through a comprehensive political process that enhances the chances of a successful transition and contributes to the consolidation of stability.
As part of the international efforts to reduce the effects and repercussions of the raging war in Sudan and to reconstruct the devastation and crises left behind, the State of Qatar announced that it will co-chair on Monday the High-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in Sudan and the Region in Geneva with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the UN, represented by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the European Union (EU), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Ministry reaffirmed the State of Qatar’s position in calling for an immediate end to the clashes in Sudan, the exercise of maximum restraint, resorting to reason, giving priority to the public interest, and sparing civilians the consequences of war. It also expressed the State of Qatar’s aspiration that all parties pursue dialogue peacefully to overcome differences, stressing its full support for all regional and international efforts to find a solution to the crisis.
Advisor to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Majed bin Mohammad Al Ansari affirmed, in the weekly media briefing organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the Qatari air bridge continues since the start of the fighting in Sudan to provide medical, relief and humanitarian assistance to the affected people. On Jun. 6, the 10th plane took off to the city of Port Sudan, carrying 37 tons of foodstuffs and evacuating 164 people holding Qatari residency, most of which are Sudanese nationals, bringing the total of those evacuated from Sudan so far to 1,784 residents and the total amount of aid reached to 266 tons. He confirmed that there will be more air bridge flights in the coming days.
The official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar gives priority to the humanitarian aspect and ending the war, and fully supports the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the pacification and the agreements signed in Jeddah within the broader regional role of the League of Arab States.
The State of Qatar’s efforts in providing assistance and aid to those affected by the war in Sudan is not limited to its direct support, Qatar chaired the work of the extraordinary session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs at the ministerial level held to discuss the humanitarian situation in Sudan, through videoconferencing technology.
In her speech during the meeting, HE Minister of Social Development and Family Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misned, who is also the Chair of the 42nd session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs, stressed the need for each member state of the League of Arab States to send a relief team to distribute aid to needy groups in Sudan, whether for internally displaced persons, or refugees to neighboring countries through official international channels.
Her Excellency stressed the position of the State of Qatar calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, exercising maximum restraint, resorting to the voice of reason, giving priority to the public interest, and sparing civilians, including women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, the consequences of the fighting, in parallel with all parties pursuing dialogue and peaceful ways to overcome differences.
In turn, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Muawiya Al Tom Al Amin appreciated, in exclusive statements to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the great efforts made by the State of Qatar in preparing and arranging the conference, pledging to support the humanitarian response to Sudan due to its close relations. The Sudanese-Qatari relations are deeply rooted in the past and the present, referring to Qatar’s sincere efforts for peace in Darfur through the Doha Peace Agreement in 2011, and the holding of the International Donor Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur held in Doha, which succeeded in collecting huge sums of money for the reconstruction. He expressed the Sudanese government and people’s gratitude and appreciation for the current role played by the Qatari humanitarian institutions (Qatar Red Crescent, Qatar Charity and Qatar Fund for Development), along with Qatari civil societies in providing relief and assistance to those affected by the war. HE the Ambassador hopes that the conference would succeed in addressing the essential needs and that life returns to its normal course.
For his part, former chairman of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) and head of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Dr. Tijani Sissi, praised, in an exclusive statement to QNA, Qatar’s pioneering role in supporting the Sudanese people in all crises and tribulations, stressing the importance of Qatar’s participation in the High-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in Sudan.
He said that the State of Qatar has extensive experience in donor conferences, referring to the Darfur Donors Conference held in Doha in 2013 and the success it achieved through returns projects and aid for the displaced and the construction of model villages. He added that Qatar’s continuous support to Sudan is without an agenda other than achieving the interests of its people only, praising in this regard its neutral position away from all Sudanese political forces.
After laying the foundations for peace in Darfur and the reconstruction of this region after the long devastating war that has negatively impacted its infrastructure, public utilities, and educational, medical, and service facilities, Qatar hosted the donors’ conference for reconstruction and development in Darfur in Doha in April 2013, with the participation of delegations from 36 countries, 22 UN agencies and 60 international and national organizations.
The conference succeeded in raising capital for development projects in the region that exceeded 3.5 billion dollars, covering four years of the six-year Darfur development strategy period. Qatar also pledged and fulfilled USD 500 million in grants and contributions for reconstruction. (QNA)