One Year Later: Supporting Media in Sudan

In light of the one-year mark of the war in Sudan, Internews recognizes the continued struggle of the Sudanese people and the largescale humanitarian crisis that unfolds across the country and in the region.

At Internews, we know that a healthy information environment is vital, as trustworthy information saves lives, improves livelihoods, and holds power to account. Therefore, as new fronts of violence spread across the country, we take a moment to commend the work of independent media, journalists, and human rights defenders who have put their lives on the line to report on the crisis.

Unfortunately, across Sudan, impediments to internet and information exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis. In early February, the country faced a total collapse of internet connectivity. All network providers in country faced some degree of disruption, with a number of networks reporting zero operating capacity for extended periods of time. While this occurrence is perhaps the most acute example of connectivity issues, it is one of many regular internet outages in Sudan.

The blackout hindered two-way communication between local humanitarian actors and the Sudanese people, leaving the public without information on where to access lifesaving resources such as food, water, and medical supplies. E-banking services became unavailable, further impeding people’s ability to purchase basic goods and exacerbating issues of hunger and malnutrition in the country. For days, many could not contact their family members and loved ones, adding new stress to the already heavy mental and emotional burden many Sudanese have carried since the start of the war.

As internet outages continue, journalists face challenges in accessing information on the ground and publishing their work. This causes a delay in reporting on current events along with reporting on human rights and international humanitarian law violations. Without this reporting, those in affected areas cannot receive timely support, nor can violators be held to account. Even when internet is running, journalists and human rights documenters must be extra careful, for risk of warring parties monitoring their data and conversations.

How Internews is Helping

Since April 15, 2023, Internews has increased its continued support to independent Sudanese media, deploying rapid response funds to help well over 100 journalists and their loved ones relocate to safety. We work to enhance independent media’s sustainability and resilience through a holistic approach that includes tailored training programs, digital security awareness sessions, 24/7 technical support, and psychosocial support. As a result of our work, journalists and media outlets have rebuilt and maintained operations amidst one of the most challenging operating environments. We hope to continue providing this support to ensure the Sudanese public has access to a diverse and accurate information environment.   

As access to information in Sudan continues to be a challenge and journalists face increased risks, Internews reaffirms its commitment to supporting independent media and calls upon others to continue doing so as well. Protection of journalists and reliable internet connectivity are both key to ensuring the safety of those suffering at the expense of violence and war.

In Crisis, Media Turn to Internews

This work is made possible in part by the Internews Emergency Fund for Independent Media. We set up the Fund in 2022 to tackle the most urgent, vital needs – the kind of support that restricted grant funding often cannot cover. Thanks to the Fund, we have been able to respond immediately.

While the Fund is already saving lives and protecting information providers, the need is greater than our current means. With your support, we can ensure to match the growing needs of Sudanese people and other communities in crises across the world.

Your support helps people in Sudan, the region, and those with urgent needs around the world.