History of Country
Sudan, Africa’s largest country, is home to more than 32 million people from around 600 ethnic groups. Located between the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, Sudan is the confluence of the Arab and African worlds, but it is also a land of bitter conflict.
Since its independence in 1956, Sudan has had only 11 years of peace. Civil wars in the south and west of the country have forced millions of people from their homes and prevented economic development. Many Sudanese have little or no access to basic facilities such as schools and hospitals.
These years of conflict have resulted in over 2 million deaths, and more than 4 million people have been forced from their homes. In 2005 the government and rebels signed a peace deal, ending the longest-running civil war in Africa.
Another conflict in western Sudan’s Darfur region began in 2003 and remains unresolved. After four years of fighting, 3.6 million Darfurians continue to endure a cruel mix of conflict, displacement, drought and failed harvests.
With farmers unable to return to till their land, agriculture in the region has been ruined. Some 2.8 million people will depend on food aid this year.
The country regularly suffers prolonged food shortages and, weakened by malnutrition, many people have no strength to fight disease. Around one in ten Sudanese children die before their fifth birthday and more than 100,000 people each year die from malaria, acute respiratory infections and diarrhoea.
Islamic Relief's History
3 out 10 people do not have access to clean drinking water
IR began working in Sudan in 1984 - in response to devastating floods in Khartoum - and registered its field office in 1991. IR's Sudanese connection however goes back to the devastating famine that gripped the country in the 1980's – IR was in fact founded as a response to that desperate situation.
IR now has field offices in eight regions, making it one of our largest country programmes. Approximately 300 full-time staff work on our projects in Sudan.
IR began working in Darfur shortly after fighting erupted in the region. We manage a camp for people fleeing the fighting, which opened in April 2004. The Kerinding II camp on the outskirts of El Geneina in West Darfur holds some 10,000 people.
IR provides the displaced people with homes and water and sanitation facilities. We also run a primary health clinic, a school and a women’s committee within the camp.
Blue Nile State
Torn apart by conflict, the Blue Nile State, once the food basket of Sudan, cannot now feed itself. Living standards have deteriorated severely and over 110,000 people are displaced.
In the Blue Nile, IR is the leading agency of a group of eight national and international aid agencies working together on a large UN funded project.
The programme benefits over 20 communities affected by war and includes work on livelihoods, water and sanitation, education and health.