Following the outbreak of the armed conflict in Sudan on 15 April 2023, the impact of the resulting humanitarian crisis and refugee crisis rippled to neighboring countries. As of 31 July 2023, it is estimated that 272,000 Sudanese people and 7,230 from other nationalities have crossed into Egypt. The UN is working to address the needs of those who were forced to flee as well as the hosting communities. From facilitating safe returns to home countries and ensuring access to healthcare services, to raising awareness through effective communication, UN Volunteers in Egypt are making a tangible difference in the lives of those affected.
Facilitating safe returns with IOM
Toema Ibrahim (Egypt, 24) is a UN Volunteer Migrant Protection Assistant with the International Office for Migration (IOM) in Cairo. In his work, he is facilitating the safe return of individuals from diverse nationalities to their countries of origin, and he has worked actively on IOM’s Sudan response assisting people to their countries of origin.
The day-to-day activities of Toema entail reaching out to embassies of various countries to ensure individuals in Egypt from countries such as Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, and Kyrgyzstan who wish to go back to their home country are provided with the necessary land or air transportation facilities, so they can safely embark on their journey back home. This is a task in which Toema’s organizational skills and deep empathy prove to be very valuable.
Witnessing the positive impact of our interventions on people’s lives first-hand is very empowering. It fuels my determination to surpass limitations and create a broader, life-changing impact for countless others. --Toema Ibrahim, UN Volunteer Migrant Protection Assistant with IOM, Egypt
Nasong Park (Korea, 27) was a UN University Volunteer in Project Development and Reporting with IOM Egypt. She recently ended her assignment, which was fully funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea.
Nasong supported the Migration Health Division team working with affected people at border control points. Together with her colleagues, she helped provide medications and non-food items to new Sudanese arrivals in distress. In addition, she assisted in securing 50 wheelchairs that have benefitted more than 10,000 individuals when they crossed the Sudan-Egypt border.
Addressing health challenges with WHO
UN Volunteer Ayat Khalaf (Egypt, 27) ensures that people arriving from Sudan have access to healthcare services. As a Medical Team Assistant with the World Health Organization's (WHO) East Mediterranean Regional Office in Cairo, she has been providing physical health and psychological consultations. She is ever ready to support and lend a helping hand to those who are suffering.
We are always with you, anytime. One hand, one family. --Ayat Khalaf, UN Volunteer Medical Team Assistant with WHO, Egypt
Serving away from the field, Online Volunteer Olivia Ding provides crucial support to the same office. With expertise in data collection, reporting, and communications, Olivia prepares bi-weekly situation reports on Sudan's evolving status and health updates. Her focus is on disease outbreaks, vaccination efforts, and the well-being of vulnerable and displaced populations.
Bolstering the emergency response with WFP
In parallel, Hyun Young Kim (Korea, 29) is engaged in the UN crisis response through her assignment as a Programme Associate with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Egypt. She helps provide cash-based assistance to affected populations. Kim's assignment is also fully funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea.
Having received a WFP course on Emergency Programming, Kim’s capacity to deliver had been enhanced by the time she was assigned this task. Within 50 days after the beginning of the crisis, more than 9,000 Sudanese people in Aswan and Greater Cairo received multi-purpose cash through WFP.
Sitting in the WFP Regional Bureau in Cairo (RBC), UN Volunteer Fedor Shchipitsyn (Russia, 24) serves as a Human Resources Assistant. During the first weeks of the crisis, he coordinated the deployment of 30 WFP personnel to Cairo, Aswan, and Abu Simbel to assist new arrivals crossing from Sudan. Prior to this, Fedor was involved in crisis response efforts in Ukraine and the Türkiye/Syria earthquake. This strengthened his capacity in emergency context and helped him be better prepared for his current assignment.
The realization that my work is contributing to saving and changing lives gives me the power and inspiration to do my best for those who need it the most. --Fedor Shchipitsyn, UN Volunteer with WFP Regional Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa, Egypt.