Sudan: back to Darfur

13 years after Aide Médicale Internationale withdrew from Darfur, Première Urgence Internationale will once again respond to the worrying nutritional situation and at the same time reunite with former collaborators.

In the locality of Ag Geneina, Première Urgence Internationale aims to improve the nutritional status and food security of families suffering from acute malnutrition.

Our teams had not set foot in Darfur since the withdrawal of Aide Médicale Internationale from the State in 2009. Present in other regions of Sudan since 2020, Première Urgence Internationale will respond to the pressing nutritional situation, and at the same time reunite with former collaborators.

Flashback to 2005, in Sudan. Between political instability, climatic crisis and inter-community tensions, the Darfur crisis is in full swing and humanitarian organisations are pouring in to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.

Mohamed Abdusamed Emam, nicknamed Samad, was in his early twenties and wanted to get involved to help his community and people. He was hired by Aide Médicale Internationale (AMI) as a translator.

AMI was involved in primary health care activities, including the construction of health centres, support to existing facilities (rehabilitation, supplies, training, etc.), the creation of mobile clinics and the referral of patients to specialised care.

Samad then moved on to become a logistic and administrative assistant and then a programme assistant. He has very powerful memories of this experience: AMI helped the population of Nurlei village in South Darfur by building a clinic, providing medical staff and equipment. During the rainy season, this village had no access to health care for several months because of the valleys that had to be crossed to reach the nearest health centre. Because of this, people were dying, especially pregnant women. This project was one of AMI’s great successes. Yes, AMI did a lot. “

In April 2009, Samad and three of his colleagues were attacked at the AMI offices and kidnapped. Following the violence of this event, AMI Sudan mission was closed. “I learnt a lot from my colleagues, they trained me on many aspects, especially on how humanitarian funding works. This is what enabled me to set up my own organisation.”

Since 2010, Samad has created his own association ‘Trust Rehabilitation & Development Organisation -TDO’, active in Darfur in the fields of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security and protection.

The following year, AMI merged with Première Urgence, giving birth to Première Urgence Internationale.

Darfour : a continuing humanitarian concern

Inter-community fighting, protracted displacement, food insecurity, climate-related hazards (floods, droughts) and inadequate access to basic social services are the main drivers of humanitarian needs in Darfur. More than 6 million people in the region are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA).

Première Urgence Internationale, back in Sudan after the 2019 revolution, conducted an exploratory mission in this area during the summer of 2022. During this assessment, the team had the good fortune to find Samad, now 40 years old, by chance. “It is with a particular emotion that I learned that PUI is now back in Sudan and that new projects will be carried out in West Darfur. The needs there are growing.”

In partnership with Triangle Génération Humanitaire and with the support of the French Inter-ministerial Food Aid Committee (CIAA) PUI will have the opportunity in October 2022 to start new activities in the locality of Ag Geneina (West Darfur). This project will focus on improving the nutritional status and food security of families suffering from acute malnutrition. More than 83,000 people have been displaced following recent clashes in this locality (IOM). The critical situation they are facing requires urgent humanitarian intervention.

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