"It was tough when I realised the children would cry from hunger. We had nothing to eat."
Communities in Sudan are facing a difficult Christmas. The UN has warned that almost 10 million people, a quarter of the population, will go to bed hungry.
With inflation soaring and coronavirus restrictions affecting workers, vulnerable families cannot afford basic food like bread and sugar. Many are going hungry.
Dafallah is a 29-year-old internally displaced person (IDP) living with a physical disability. Despite his disability he works long hours to support a large extended family of 11.
Dafallah lives with his younger siblings, five sisters, four brothers, and two nieces in South Kordofan. They fled conflict and their family home in Aldebabat, over 300 kilometres away.
While his family are now safe, Dafallah and his extended family live in abject poverty. Two of his brothers are also living with a disability and are unable to work. Dafallah runs a small mobile phone charging business near his home. It’s his only source of income and just about puts enough food on the table for his family.
When the Covid-19 outbreak hit Sudan, restrictions and curfews prevented Dafallah from working and providing for his family.
Dafallah says the family faced starvation. ‘‘It was tough when I realised the children would cry from hunger. We had nothing to eat.” Their situation was so dire, that Dafallah’s niece, Amna, who is four years old, became diagnosed with severe malnutrition.
Fortunately, Dafallah found support and financial assistance from GOAL’s Rapid Response Project, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
With so many families like Dafallah’s facing starvation GOAL teams are providing urgent financial assistance in Sudan. So far staff have reached out to over 150 families with life-saving support in South Kordofan.
“It was like a miracle”
The intervention from GOAL has allowed Dafallah to put much needed food on the table. “It was like a miracle, I was delighted. I swore that my niece would never suffer from malnutrition due to a lack of food again.”
The Covid-19 curfew and restrictions have now eased in South Kordofan. Dafallah has been able to return to work. And thankfully his niece Amna is recovering from malnutrition. She has been released from hospital and is making a full recovery.
“We can’t imagine how the future would have been for us, and especially for these young children, if we did not receive this assistance. We are eternally grateful to GOAL and to the FCDO for thinking about households who have lost their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic,’’ Dafallah told us.
GOAL’S Rapid Response Project is helping to protect communities from the spread of Covid-19. Teams are also responding to the impacts of Covid-19, supporting local people with access to clean water and food. So far, the programme has reached over 55,000 people in Sudan.
You can help support GOAL’s lifesaving work in Sudan – please donate now to support communities facing hunger.