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We welcome Ramadan, with its blessings and spirituality, while we face great and new challenges in a country where securing a loaf of bread has become difficult for millions, let alone access to health and social care services.

The Holy Month is a symbol of solidarity and is a reminder of our growing responsibilities towards those who suffer and endure hardships in life. It is our collective responsibility to support them, to prove that humanity is capable of giving and that men and women refuse to have their sisters and brothers overcome by fragility.

This year, Darfur, which has suffered from many years of war, is facing a new threat ignited by the fires of ignorance and tribal clashes, which has claimed the lives of hundreds and displaced thousands of innocent families who will spend Ramadan in camps that lack the basics for a dignified life.

Sudan is also hosting tens of thousands of new refugee arrivals from Ethiopia on top of the hundreds of thousands of others whom the Sudanese generously and selflessly host. This increases our responsibility towards providing health services for women and girls in light of a weak health system that cannot even cater for the needs of the Sudanese themselves.

As in all wars, crises and instability, women remain disproportionately affected. They lose their lives and dreams because of the actions of others.

In light of these dire economic conditions, we see hundreds of thousands of women struggling to provide for their families, securing food and providing care, in a month when families are accustomed to sitting at the same table to share stories, break bread together and share in prayers.

Given the fact that the largest economies in the world have been severely impacted by COVID19, imagine what it must be like for those in deplorable living conditions, who depend on daily jobs with wages not even sufficient for the minimum requirement of a decent life.

As a result of all these challenging circumstances in Sudan, I appeal for greater support for women and girls to ensure their access to quality reproductive health services, enjoyment of their human rights, and protect them from the scourge of gender-based violence. I also believe that we collectively can do more to support young people’s participation in decisions that affect their present and future as the key population that will build a stronger Sudan.

Together with the many committed and dedicated partners, we have the ambition and determination to successfully respond to these challenges and we will not miss any opportunity to advance the well-being of women and men, girls and boys.

So let Ramadan be a blessed occasion to strengthen this support and solidarity with and for Sudan.

UNFPA Sudan Country Representative Mr. Massimo Diana on Ramadan