Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the humanitarian situation in Sudan


We thank OCHA Operations Director Wosornu, FAO Deputy-Director General Martina and WFP Deputy Executive Director Skau for the briefings on the humanitarian and food situation in Sudan. We welcome the Permanent Representative of Sudan to this meeting.

We share the concern that was expressed in the assessments of the difficult humanitarian and food situation in Sudan, i.a. in the note prepared by UN OCHA in accordance with Security Council resolution 2417. We note that OCHA predicts further deterioration (depending on the regions). Under the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, its risks vary from phase three to phase four, and possibly up to the most acute phase five in some areas. This situation is linked to the ongoing intense fighting in some parts of the country, which has continued since April 2023 and resulted in numerous casualties, including among civilians.

The statistics are truly depressing. 40% of the population of this large African country face acute food insecurity. Tens of thousands of children are at risk of severe malnutrition. In the face of ongoing conflict, they have no access to health care, with 70% of health facilities in these areas not functioning. As in the case of the children of Gaza, we should think of the potential serious damage to the development of an entire generation – the future generation of Sudan.

At the same time, it would not be constructive from us to just dramatize the situation (without looking into the real state of affairs) or politicize its humanitarian component,

There are various assessments of the food security situation in Sudan. While a number of delegations and UN representatives fear that Sudan is almost completely engulfed in famine, we must note that not everyone shares such alarmist assessments. The reality is that food is available in the country, and the shelves of markets and stores are not empty even in the remote states of Kassala, Gedaref, Sennar and El Gezira. The country harvested 3 million tonnes of sorghum last year. There are shortages of wheat, but they are addressed with the help of external supplies. Quite often, the main problem stems from wage cuts, galloping inflation, falling purchasing power. Long-term trends of declining economic and food potential are also alarming. According to the World Bank, Sudan's economy is shrinking at a significant rate, which stood at 12% in 2023. The destruction of critical infrastructure continues. For the first time, the numbers of Sudanese who are exposed to hunger is growing amidst the harvest season. It demonstrates the extent to which Sudan's agricultural sector has been devastated. It will take time to recover.

We note that on March 5, the Sudanese authorities decided to resume the delivery of humanitarian aid through a number of border crossings with Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, as well as through some Sudanese airports. Moreover, according to the UN country team, Sudan approved the passage of 60 trucks with humanitarian aid through the RSF-controlled Adre checkpoint on the Sudanese-Chadian border at El Geneina on 17 March. I remind that according to OCHA, the situation in that town is extremely dire.

We call on the participants of this meeting to stop turning this agenda on its head. The Sudanese authorities, in a step-by-step manner, show openness and cooperate constructively. They are seriously engaged in supplying food to "Greater Darfur". We underscore the fact that Port Sudan has approved deliveries from Chad, despite serious security threats.

We are convinced that it is necessary to continue humanitarian cooperation with the current authorities. After all, it is them who are responsible for rectifying the current humanitarian situation, assisting in the distribution of supplies, reporting and ensuring the protection of civilians. To reject this means to exacerbate the already dire situation of the Sudanese population. It is necessary to increase deliveries through various checkpoints under the control and with the consent of the central authorities.

Sufficient funding for humanitarian response programs in Sudan could alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese. Neighboring states also should get helped. We hope that the upcoming international conference in Paris on April 15 will deliver on all expectations.


Unfortunately, Security Council started to encounter politicization of food security and humanitarian aspects rather frequently. The Council has no levers to remedy the situation, because it is dealt with by other UN bodies. That is why, at certain times, the atmosphere here gets heated up for political reasons. Quite often this is done in the interests of external players. The conflict has clearly worsened the humanitarian situation in Sudan, but we should not forget that the economic and other restrictive measures applied by the West against that country have undermined the resilience of Sudanese society.

Russia provides assistance to Sudan both through bilateral channels and international organizations. In 2022, a shipment of 20,000 tons of food-grade wheat was dispatched to Port Sudan. In 2023, our country made a voluntary contribution of $2.5 million to the World Food Program to provide food aid to Sudan. In May 2023, already after the beginning of the current conflict, Russia donated medicines and medical equipment sufficient to assist 12,000 patients, including surgical operations. A year earlier, Sudan received about 100 Russian anticholera and antimalaria modules.


Port Sudan's proactive steps on the humanitarian front are commendable. They go in line with the Jeddah declaration on the organization of safe and sustainable humanitarian corridors under the guarantees of the parties to the conflict. We should not forget that the same document prescribes that the use of human shields by the parties should be excluded. In spite of this, one of them continues to use them. We believe that the attitude demonstrated by the Sudanese authorities towards the positive and constructive resolution of emerging humanitarian problems is something that we can build on to move towards a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

A political solution to the conflict will allow people to go back to their homes and proceed with their traditional lifestyles without jeopardizing their lives. We consistently advocate an end to armed confrontation and the establishment of an inclusive inter-Sudanese dialogue involving all influential political forces and ethno-confessional groups. The experience of international efforts (in Sudan too) shows that externally imposed decisions, especially hastily made ones that fail to take into account the opinions of influential national players, do not become durable and sometimes cannot even last a day. In the worst case, they incur significant damage.

We believe that any destructive external interference in the affairs of our friendly Sudan is unacceptable. We are convinced that the Sudanese people can and must independently resolve internal problems without external dictate and attempts by third parties to use the humanitarian situation as an instrument of pressure.

Thank you.

Video of the statement