Khartoum State Emergency Response Room
The strength of the EERs is rooted in the deep Sudanese culture of neighborhood community support. This is also an exercise of citizen participation, a rebirth of civic life, maintaining the social fabric and the creation of a new civil society that celebrates diversity and adopts human rights and democratic practices. This would be essential not just to overcome the potential humanitarian crisis in Sudan but also for the day after the war ends. The skills learned during this decolonized mutual humanitarian aid will strengthen the ability of this new expanded civil society to imagine and create good governance that is based on transparency, accountability, equality and participation.
Khartoum State’s population is officially estimated at 6,344,348 but the outskirts house millions of uncounted citizens. Since the start of the April 15th war, thousands have fled the City to relocate elsewhere but until now the majority have opted to stay for various reasons. What enables them to stay is the continued availability of basic services, food and water With the collapse of the regular economy, markets and supply chains citizens have managed to create creative alternatives to stay afloat. Electricity, water and telecommunications have been repeatedly fixed and broken. Hospitals and clinics relied on stocks available within the city and donations. Local grocery stores and markets filled demands getting supplies from farmers, warehouses and other states.
Unfortunately, under the war’s critical security circumstances the people who stayed need further assistance to survive the complex humanitarian conditions in which our country has been engulfed. We established the Khartoum State ERRs to help facilitate and provide aid and assistance to the people of the Khartoum state geographic area. We want to support the existing mutual aid and solidarity economy based on volunteers and dedicated professionals that arose. We aim to do this by connecting with international humanitarian bodies and NGOs to establish a humanitarian response that builds on the current working systems and expands it.
Within a month the Khartoum State ERRs has 69 base ERRs with a capacity of over 4,600 Volunteers. 1,400 are Doctors, nurses, medics and medical lab technicians, and we are currently training about 215 First Aid medics, and have plans to train more. We have volunteers across the seven districts of the State of Khartoum in the Bahri ERR, East Nile ERR, Jabal Awlia ERR, Khartoum ERR, Karari ERR, Ombada ERR and Omdurman ERR. These seven ERRs that make up the Khartoum State ERR are running 33 neighborhood health clinics and communal kitchens, 15 functioning public hospitals and coordinating with local markets, pharmacies, grocery stores, electric, water and telecommunications companies.
We started the data collection process of our communities to have a better understanding of needs and potential opportunities. In general we are quickly running out of medical supplies and some families are facing food shortages mainly because of lack of funds. Water issues are mainly related to electric issues as pumps are needed to supply water. We are working on constantly updating our work plans as first responders to meet these growing demands.
Mutual Aid & Solidarity Economy
Mutual Aid is the collaboration of volunteers providing their work, time and expertise combined with voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources. This involves pharmacies, traders, farmers, bankers, journalists, engineers, tea ladies, groceries, electric/water/ telecommunications workers etc… It aims to provide relief during the ongoing war to the citizens of Sudan including food, shelter, medical care, trauma healing and assuring the continuation of basic services: electricity, water, sanitation, telecommunications and banking.
This solidarity economy rose organically, within the current Sudanese War, building on the revolutionary neighborhood Resistance Committee (RC) and professional associations’ experiences. This gave rise to Emergency Response Rooms that are organized through local horizontal structures stemming from the neighborhood level based on local councils and solidarity based economy with partnership from international and local NGOs.
Mutual aid transforms support beyond charity to solidarity and forms the base for a decolonized localized humanitarian aid. It also empowers the local Sudanese civil society and prepares them for the day after the war. At a time when the sound of the bullets deafen the ears, solidarity and localized mutual aid keeps our sanity and hope alive.
Partners & Donors
All emergency rooms within the city work in joint coordination in distributing needs and responding to humanitarian needs in a competent manner and excel by obtaining support and coordinating with the ERRs nearby. The ERRs in the various neighborhoods and districts are collaborating through coordination bodies. At the highest level there is a State of Khartoum coordination unit where representatives of the various districts coordinate their work. Work is going on to connect with the other ERRs inside Sudan to achieve a solid humanitarian response in the war period and push for joint coordination with the humanitarian aid organizations.