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Located in eastern Africa, Sudan is one of the largest African countries in landmass — slightly more than one-quarter the size of the United States. Sudan shares its borders with seven countries and has 530 miles of coastline along the Red Sea.
Low access to and poor quality of basic education is a major problem throughout Sudan. The situation is particularly poor in remote rural areas.
Flooding has caused waves of displaced people in Sudan.
In 2013, Sudan experienced the highest inflation in Africa, a symptom of a declining economy following the loss of oil revenues from now-independent South Sudan.
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World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Sudan to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Highlights of current programs include:
World Vision’s operations in northern Sudan date back to 1983. Since then, some major accomplishments include:
Geography and people
Located in northeastern Africa, Sudan is one of the largest African countries in landmass — slightly more than one-quarter the size of the United States. 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 the 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.
Poor infrastructure, continuing conflict, and massive displacement of people because of these conflicts have undermined development and significantly affected children and their communities in various parts of the country.
Most of the population is Sunni Muslim, with a small Christian minority. An estimated 70 percent of the population is Sudanese Arab.
Arabic and English are the official languages, although people also speak a variety of African languages.
About 80 percent of Sudanese work in the agriculture sector, growing things like cotton, peanuts, sorghum, millet, and wheat.
Sudan gained independence from Britain in 1953 and established a democratic government in 1956. Military officers seized control of the government in 1958.
Two civil wars lasted through most of the 20th century. The conflict was partially driven by religious and ethnic disputes between Arabs in the north and Africans in the south.
The first war lasted until 1972, with the second one starting in 1983. The second war displaced about four million Sudanese and killed at least two million over 20 years. After two years of peace talks starting in 2002, the north and south signed a peace agreement.
Another conflict started in Darfur in 2003, displacing almost 2 million people and killing between 200,000 and 400,000. U.N. peacekeeping troops are still trying to help end the conflict.
In January 2011, South Sudan voted to secede from Sudan, and South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011. Despite some reports of violence, the international community declared the vote to have been fair and mostly peaceful.