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GENEVA: At the United Nations conference on Monday (June 19), donors pledged nearly US$1.5 billion to combat Sudan’s humanitarian crisis and help neighboring countries host refugees fleeing the fighting.

Sudan is plunging into death and destruction at an unprecedented rate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned, calling on donors to intervene to stop the unfolding catastrophe.

The meeting came in the middle of a three-day ceasefire that seemed to bring calm to the capital Khartoum after an earlier ceasefire to secure aid corridors failed.

“Today, donors announced nearly US$1.5 billion for the humanitarian response to Sudan and the region,” said Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Humanitarian Director, closing the conference in Geneva.

“This crisis requires sustained financial support and I hope we can all continue to keep Sudan a top priority.”

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations Head of Refugee Affairs, added: “It is very important that these contributions are clearly allocated and disbursed as soon as possible, as funds are really in short supply.”

More than two months into the fighting, the United Nations fears the crisis could spread to neighboring African countries and destabilize them.

“The scale and speed of Sudan’s descent into death and destruction are unprecedented,” UN Secretary-General Guterres said at the conference.

“Without strong international support, Sudan could quickly turn into a no-go zone, spreading unrest throughout the region.”

Since April 15, forces led by Abdul Fattah al-Burhan have been fighting the militia Rapid Support Force (RSF), commanded by former lieutenant Mohamed Hamdan Dagro, after the two sides broke down in a power struggle.

The death toll exceeded 2,000, according to the Armed Conflict Areas and Events Data Project.

According to the US State Department, up to 1,100 people have died in El Geneina alone, the capital of West Darfur, a few hundred kilometers west of Khartoum, attributed “mainly” to RSF.

A record 25 million people, more than half of Sudan’s population, are in need of aid, according to the United Nations.

Across Sudan, about 2.5 million people have been forced from their homes by the war, according to United Nations statistics, with 550,000 fleeing to neighboring countries.

Approximately US$3 billion required

Griffiths emphasized the generosity of donors, but the amount pledged on Monday was less than half what humanitarian organizations need this year to meet needs.

The United Nations is making two calls to tackle this crisis. One is the humanitarian response within Sudan, which will require US$2.6 billion this year, and the other is the regional refugee response, which is set at US$470 million.

Both had less than 17% funding to attend Monday’s meeting. US$1.5 billion pledged to stop Sudan’s descent into ‘death and destruction’: UN

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