Regional Official: Frequent Relief & Humanitarian Diversions

Sudan Events

Interview – Rehab Abdullah


Since the start of the war in Sudan, international and regional organizations and friendly countries have been active in providing relief to Sudan and holding donor conferences, but Sudan has had failed experiences in obtaining these pledges. (Sudan Events) raised the issue with an international expert in the field of grants and loans.

The former Minister of Finance of Sudan, current Senior Advisor to the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Dr. Bashir Omar, spoke with Sudan Events, following are excerpts from the interview:

It is believed that donor conferences for Sudan often do not bring much?

The percentage of actual implementation of the international community’s pledges during donor conferences for Sudan, in all aid to developing countries, hardly exceeds 30-40% in the best circumstances. Some of these countries announce their pledges to the media and nothing more but to win the affection of the people of those countries who often believe that what was announced is what will actually be implemented, and the matter may end with organizations working in the field of humanitarian aid being unjustly accused by the people of having embezzled or misused the funds generously donated by the international community.

Does this mean that you acknowledge that relief has been diverted and stolen?

We know for sure that theft of relief and humanitarian aid directed to the affected and needy segments is a common thing under totalitarian and dictatorial governments. Of course, we must remember that international conditions in general, the performance of the global economy, wars and conflicts, the Ukraine war, Gaza, the Moroccan earthquake, the Pakistan earthquake, floods in Libya, the Syrian war, the Yemen war, and others have increased the intensity of competition for the limited resources allocated by countries, regional and international institutions, and voluntary organizations in relief work and humanitarian aid. All of this has been said.

What are the factors that guarantee the arrival of pledges or relief?

In my personal view, the basic and decisive factors in obtaining a sufficient amount of aid at the level of pledges and at the level of actual withdrawals and implementation lie in the following points: First, that the responsible official body of relief and humanitarian aid be it a ministry, commission, or other, and whose employees enjoy the highest levels of competence, honesty, transparency, prudence and justice among the beneficiaries of aid, and they have to possess the ability to communicate with foreign aid officials with a degree of respect, to speak on behalf of the entire nation, to demonstrate loyalty to it, to be absolutely committed to everything that is in the interest of those communities, and not to allow, under any circumstances, self-interest and personal benefit as well as having a foothold in any of the areas that related to its work. These workers or officials belonging to relief and humanitarian aid and governments must have the desire and ability to create a safe and attractive climate for local and international relief and humanitarian aid providers, and that the procedures they take in order to deliver aid must be characterized by simplicity and flexibility, and that logistical issues, such as means of transportation, fuel, and storage containers, must be available and accessible, and they also must have the professional knowledge to submit proposals and request for humanitarian aid according to the work forms required by each aid donor, and what applies to officials applies to workers in voluntary humanitarian aid organizations, whether they are official state institutions or popular voluntary organizations. The leaders of those institutions must have sufficient information about international donor organizations and the people who influence them, the ability to continuously communicate with them and follow up the things that have been agreed upon, as well as the ability to manage a dialogue that leads to increasing and diversifying humanitarian aid if necessary.

To what extent does Sudan need relief, in your opinion?

Of course, we are talking about relief, and our urgent need for it these days, particularly in the medical and food fields, and we are in a country that is supposed to produce food not only for its people’s need and have sufficient food security, but to be the food basket of the Arab world or even the whole world, and we say, curse the war (that deprived us of all those advantages). The current situation is what has brought us to this state of refuge, and these days we are facing a strange situation that is about to lead to a complete famine prone to hit at the country

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