Sep 15, 2020 16:25 UTC
  • Sudan pleads for more aid to tackle devastating floods

Sudan has appealed for more aid to combat the impact of catastrophic floods across the country, over which Khartoum has already declared a three-month state of emergency.

"The health situation in Sudan wasn't at its best anyway, and it is becoming more and more challenging," Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister Omar Qamareddine said on Tuesday.

Over 110,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by floodwaters, according to the government, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases and hampering efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

"People will need more and more medicines and they will need mobile medical units because it's a huge country," Qamareddine added. "We are asking the international community to move a little faster to help."

At least 650,000 people have been affected since the start of the rains in mid-July, more than 110,000 in the first week of September alone, the United Nations said Monday, quoting figures from Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission.

Over a hundred people have been killed and more than 50 injured in the floods, according to the Sudanese civil defense.

"The unprecedented flooding has surpassed the forecast, and partners are running out of supplies," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

More flooding is predicted in coming days, with heavy rains forecast upstream in neighboring Ethiopia, OCHA added.

Heavy rains usually fall in Sudan from June to October, and the country faces severe flooding every year.