Geography & people

Located in northeastern Africa, Sudan is one of Africa’s largest countries. Sudan shares its borders with seven countries and has 530 miles of coastline along the Red Sea. Generally flat, featureless, and plain, desert dominates much of the north.

Sudan has abundant human, natural and mineral resources, but decades-long conflicts and resulting humanitarian crises have hampered the country's progress and diminished its potential. Natural resources include petroleum, small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold and hydropower.

Most of the population is Sunni Muslim, with a small Christian minority. An estimated 70% of the population is Sudanese Arab. Arabic and English are the official languages, although a variety of African languages are spoken.

Fast facts

  • Poor infrastructure, continuing conflict and massive displacement of people because of conflict have undermined Sudan’s development and significantly affected children and their communities in various parts of the country.
  • More than 18% of Sudanese workers are unemployed and many millions, about 40% of the population, live below the poverty line.
  • More than 40% of people do not have access to safe water and more than 60% do not have adequate sanitation facilities.
  • Only about 68% of children are enrolled in primary school – this number drops further once children enter secondary school.
  • More than 320,000 people are living with HIV or AIDS.

Our focus in Sudan

We started our work in Darfur in June 2004, but our operations in Sudan date back to 1983. We run programmes that benefit more than 1.5 million people directly and indirectly.

We are helping to transform lives in Sudan by helping with food security, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, childcare, education and gender equality, as well as agriculture and natural resource management.

Highlights include:

  • Helping to distribute food to more than 313,000 people and providing supplementary food to 33,930 children under the age of five.
  • Empowering women, especially in rural areas in Darfur and Blue Nile state. By running literacy classes and opening women centres, women are learning and improving their handcraft skills. They are also educated on child and women rights.

Our achievements in Sudan

We have also achieved the following, helping children and their families live free from the fear of hunger, illness and lack of opportunities:


  • More than 110,000 patients have received medical treatment and over 20,315 pregnant women have received advice about reproductive health.
  • Over 1,000 babies have been delivered and 5,897 women have received anti-natal care. 13,455 children have been immunised.


  • We have helped to provide clean safe water to displaced people and their host communities.

Child protection

  • We have set up child friendly spaces for children to safely learn informally.


  • We have encouraged parents to send their children, especially girls, to school and helped build and repair schools. Over 2,973 children, 2,600 women and 2,500 young people have benefited from learning and other skills..