An update from our Sudan director, Muna Eltahir
As intense fighting in Khartoum reached the streets around her home, our Sudan Director Muna Eltahir decided she had no choice but to leave. Muna is now safe and able to work. Below she gives an insight into what her priorities are over the coming weeks.
As fighting in Sudan reaches its third week, I have made the difficult decision to leave my home and work from Egypt.
Here, I am at least able to enjoy a good internet connection and I am free from taking constant precautions against stray gunfire.
Although I feel bad for leaving while my fellow citizens are suffering, taking this decision means I am able to look after the welfare of my colleagues at Practical Action more effectively.
My focus is currently on ensuring everyone gets paid so they are able to buy essentials and look after their families. Prices of goods in Sudan have rocketed and people face the real possibility of being unable to feed themselves.
I am also in regular contact with the donors who pay for the essential work we do, bringing communities together to resolve conflicts and enabling people to adapt effectively to climate change.
We are absolutely committed to this work, helping people in Sudan as much as possible. And where it is possible to do so safely, we are continuing to operate.
In remote rural areas, we already have teams of engineers constructing dams to prevent water run off and help farmers irrigate their land. We believe we can continue to deliver this work safely.
I have heard today from Musa Ibrahim, the office manager in Kassala, where the situation is calmer. He has told me there is a huge influx of internally displaced people in the area and Practical Action has been asked to be part of a consortium of organisations who will support efforts to help these people.
I am also talking to other donors about the impact of the conflict on our work, both in the short term and the longer term. Although things are very fast-moving and unstable at the moment, we will need to make decisions soon about whether we pause, or continue our activities, and I will be sharing updates as and when these decisions are made.
In the meantime, I would like to thank all our supporters for their generous support and donations. The knowledge that people are thinking of Sudan and we are not forgotten gives us strength at this most difficult of times.
Muna Eltahir joined Practical Action’s team in 2015 as Sudan’s Country Director. She has acquired a substantial and long history of experience in the humanitarian and development fields. Muna is a womens rights activist as well as a gender expert. She has worked for DFID, Netherlands Embassy, UNOCHA, ADRA and Windle Trust. Muna holds two master degrees; one in Economics of Human Resource Development from India, and the other is in International Community Development from Andrews University of Michigan – USA.