Over the last four months, Sudan has been thrown into crisis. The rise of violence against the civilian population across the country keeps worsening the already existent humanitarian and displacement catastrophe. To date, over 2.5 million people – including women, girls and minority groups and their communities – have been displaced inside and outside Sudan. Currently, half of the Sudanese population – over 24.7million people – need immediate humanitarian aid and protection.
Women’s and feminist movements in Sudan have been resilient in playing a significant role for years in fighting patriarchy, militarization, and radical Islamization in the country. Over the years, women’s funds have supported these movements in responding to the urgent needs in view of the myriad of human rights violations and the decay of democracy.
A Sudanese researcher whose name is kept confidential for security reasons, shared that 95% of the humanitarian response in Sudan right now is a complete failure, with INGO and humanitarian relief being directly stopped by military forces. Following consultations with activists and groups on the ground, women funds have received information that local efforts by community based, and women’s and youth organizations are reporting that over 80% of hospitals are not functioning while the scale of sexual and gender-based violence continues to increase with full out war. Furthermore, Sudanese women human rights defenders are constantly threatened because of their calls to end the war. Despite the multiple forms of violence that women’s human rights defenders, activists, organizations, and movements face, these are the organizations leading the work on the ground to respond to the crisis, filling the gaps in the absence of public services and humanitarian aid organizations, collecting local donations and resources to provide food and medical care, organizing evacuations, and providing healthcare support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. These groups have been sharing their urgent need for resources, safe spaces, and IT technical support to keep them connected with the outside world.
Moreover, it is crucial to address the root causes of the conflict in Sudan seeking a peaceful resolution that ensures the safe return of displaced individuals to their homes. This requires meaningful involvement of Sudanese women activists and human rights defenders, diplomatic engagement, mediation, and the promotion of a comprehensive political process that addresses the underlying grievances and aspirations of all the Sudanese towards achieving a civilian-led government by ensuring the involvement of feminist discourses and women in the process.
Prospera International Network of Women Funds, the global network of women’s and feminist funds, is concerned about the devastating impacts the crisis in Sudan, particularly on women and girls. The current insecurity is making the delivery of urgent support and humanitarian aid almost impossible and comes at the worst time when the people of Sudan face unprecedented needs. Prospera supports anti-racist, anti-colonial gender justice activism around the world and mobilizes action in the funding communities that we are a part of, to ensure that feminist activists, groups, organizations, movements, and human rights defenders are protected, safe, and able to continue their work, including in situations of multiple crises.
Prospera joins our members in the Africa region, the Sudanese activists that they support, and movements around the world to #StopTheWar and ensure funding reaches feminist groups, as well as immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Sudan and those who have fled into the neighboring countries.
We urgently call on the international community, governments, the philanthropic community, and individuals to direct immediate financial support to the African Women’s Development Fund, Doria Feminist Fund, Urgent Action Fund – Africa and Mediterranean Women’s Fund to respond to the needs of the people affected by the crisis in Sudan and neighboring countries.
As a network within the wider feminist funding movement, we draw on our collective strength and solidarity during these times. It is our collective responsibility and commitment to resource feminist activism by listening to, taking the lead from those who know where, and how to fund.
For funders interested in having a tailored conversation in August with Sudanese groups and activists, and the women’s funds that are supporting them, please contact Nancy Akanbombire at firstname.lastname@example.org.