Sudan suspends some foreign aid work in eastern region

Save the Children vehicles. The organization is among those who have received orders to leave east Sudan. Photo by: Bret Saalwaechter / CC BY-NC-ND

The number of foreign aid organizations operating in Sudan’s restless and underdeveloped eastern region is now at least four groups fewer.

This is in the wake of reports that Sudan’s Humanitarian Affairs Commission has asked Save the Children Sweden and Ireland-based Goal, along with at least two other aid groups, to withdraw from the said region. The groups are still allowed to remain in the country and operate in other areas across Sudan, according to Agence France-Presse.

Save the Children and Goal have confirmed receiving orders to leave eastern Sudan in a month’s time, according to various wire agencies. It is still unclear how many other aid groups are affected by HAC’s decision. Diplomatic sources cited by news agencies say Japan-based Association for Aid and Relief and another Irish aid organization were also given orders to end their eastern Sudan projects. France-based Sudan Tribune, meanwhile, adds another four namesPlan Sudan, Triangle, Accord and Malo.

An unnamed HAC official has been quoted by various media outlets as explaining that the organizations were told to close shop because they “didn’t implement the projects we asked them to do.”

This is not the first time the Sudanese government has suspended foreign aid operations. In 2009, the government revoked the licenses of 13 foreign aid groups after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The United Nations, more recently, has been having difficulties negotiating foreign aid access into two conflict-torn Sudanese states.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.