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Rachel Hirons

Medair: Reaching out to Sudan in crisis

Clare Lucas picture Clare Lucas
4 min

Since 15 April violent clashes have once again plunged Sudan into chaos. The population is trapped, and their needs are growing by the hour, as the humanitarian situation rapidly deteriorates.

Rachel Hirons (RH), Medair’s Country Director for Sudan, explains the dire situation and how Medair’s work is making a difference.

Q: Can you explain and give a brief intro on the current situation in Sudan?

RH: So, the current situation in Sudan is that violent conflict has broken out between two military factions and it’s really causing a huge burden on the people of Sudan and on our teams.

The security situation is really changing right now. It’s important for our team to be aware and liaise with other organizations to make sure that they’re going into areas that are safe enough to continue programming without putting their own lives at risk. But they are committed to serving people most in need. So, they are balancing needs for safety and security for themselves with understanding that there are people desperately in need of resources that we provide.

This crisis in Sudan is going to cause an influx of refugees in other countries. And we will see an increase of people in need in South Sudan and surrounding countries. … In South Sudan our teams will have increased pressure put on them to serve more people. These people are coming across the border with just what they can carry with them, and that’s not going to last very long. They are going to have to find places to live, food, water, (safe water!), and all other things to settle in securely in these new locations. The Medair team in South Sudan has a long history of serving people in refugee camps, and they are ready to step up as well.


Q: What are some of the humanitarian needs? How have these needs been growing because of the current conflict?

RH: In Sudan, there’s an interesting and unique combination of different groups that are really struggling and this conflict has really exacerbated that. There are refugees from other countries. There are people that are returning from other countries who have been previously refugees and now are looking to settle back into their homes. There are host communities in need, and then there are now internally displaced people. The internally displaced people have now really increased as people are fleeing from war in different locations. In particular, in Khartoum, a lot of people are leaving and trying to get out to safer places, and that means that they’re leaving with what they can carry on their backs and in their vehicles. But there is really a shortage of food and water at this point. Fuel is hard to come by, so it limits people’s ability to flee to safe places, and prices and costs are increasing dramatically.

Child in Sudan drinking clean water

We’re seeing that people are not able to get the food they need or the water that they need, and they are really struggling to survive. We are also trying to make [salary] payments to our team. That’s been a struggle as well. And that means that our teams and their families are less able to provide support for themselves.


Q: Is Medair planning to stay in the country and adapt its activities?

RH: Our teams are still working hard in the field and going to the locations where they’re serving people in need. These are people who need health care and nutrition, especially women and children. Our services are particularly targeting children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. These are people who are particularly susceptible to the situation that war brings, where they are very much impacted by the loss of food, access to income, and resources.

We also provide health care services to make sure that people are able to thrive in situations where they’re facing malaria, diarrhoea, and other conditions that can really compromise their health. So, our goal is to continue our operations. Our team has been continuing this whole time to serve people in need, and we’re very proud of the people that are doing the work for these people in those locations.


Who is Medair?

Medair is a humanitarian aid organisation inspired by Christian faith to bring emergency relief to the world's most devastated and hardest to reach communities.


The people of Sudan need your support to survive this crisis: your gift enables Medair to provide them with clean water, sanitation facilities, emergency health care. In a crisis, every minute counts.

Support Medair UK’s work


To find out more about the work of Medair in other parts of the world, visit their website.


Please join Medair in praying that a current one-week ceasefire holds, so people are able to get to safety and get supplies that they need.  Pray for the safety of their teams as they continue working to serve people in need, and pray for lasting peace in Sudan.


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Written by

Clare Lucas

Clare works within the Partner Services division as Head of Church and Charity Giving. She works with our church and charity partners, helping them become better resourced for their mission. She is passionate about strengthening the relationship between givers and causes as part of facilitating true gospel partnership in the 21st century.

Prior to her role at Stewardship, Clare worked with churches to foster active generosity, with a focus on digital giving. She has worked in the Christian charity sector since 2016 and has experienced financial support raising first-hand in both the church and charity context. She currently serves as a trustee for a newly established charity, seeking to support ministry trainees.

Clare lives in North London and enjoys a good cup of coffee by the canal.