August 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The speaker of the Arab Parliament Ahmed bin Mohamed Al-Jarwan, has appealed to the Arab League, Arab states, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), regional and international organizations to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Sudan following the heavy rains and floods which struck large parts of the country earlier this month.
- A homeless Sudanese family rests on the side of a highway in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 as heavy flooding threatens the region (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
Al-Jarwan called upon businessmen and philanthropists in the Arab and Muslim worlds to urgently provide relief for the affected in order to avoid aggravation of the crisis.
On Tuesday the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued orders to urgently provide $10 million in emergency relief assistance to flood victims to be delivered in coordination with aid groups operating in the affected areas.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Saudi finance minister, Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, said that the relief reflects the kingdom’s constant policy of helping those in need and aiding thousands of our Sudanese brothers whose homes were destroyed and were displaced by the floods.
Yesterday, Algeria sent humanitarian aid to Sudan joining Morocco, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, US, Japan and Ethiopia who provided similar assistance earlier.
Today the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department announced that it is mobilizing humanitarian aid experts to assess the needs of people affected by the floods in Sudan.
"I have been following closely the news of the floods in Sudan and I want to express my sympathy and support for the people who have been affected by this disaster", the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Kristalina Georgieva said.
"I have mobilised experts from the EU’s humanitarian aid service to urgently assess the needs on the ground as soon as access to the affected areas is possible", the Commissioner added.
"I am confident that the Government of Sudan will rapidly allow humanitarian organisations to access the affected areas. It is crucial that assessments can be carried out urgently to understand the level and type of assistance required. This will allow for the provision of much-needed relief assistance to the flood victims", she added.
On Thursday, the Sudanese interior minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid told reporters that his ministry’s figures show that 53 people were killed, 77 inured, 40,578 families affected, 20,207 homes completely collapsed and 21,999 partially damaged, 3,000 heads of livestock perished and 251 public buildings were impacted that were primarily schools.
But the minister insisted that the losses so far do not warrant declaring Sudan a "disaster area" which would potentially help solicit more external aid and stressed that the situation is under control.