One year after a brutal conflict erupted between rival factions of Sudan’s security forces, France and Germany are spearheading an international donor conference in Paris on Monday to secure funds for urgent humanitarian aid to prevent widespread famine.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell are leading the event, which will include aid groups working on the ground and representatives from Sudan’s neighboring countries.

A violent power struggle is ongoing between Sudan’s de facto ruler, army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The two generals seized power in a 2021 military coup but later clashed over plans for Sudan’s transition to civilian rule, particularly over the RSF’s integration into the regular armed forces.

Their struggle for control has sparked the world’s largest refugee crisis. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates over 8.6 million people have been displaced within Sudan or to neighboring countries; other estimates suggest the figure exceeds 9 million.

The conflict has devastated the country, including the capital Khartoum, with artillery barrages, rocket fire, and airstrikes affecting nearly every region. There are severe shortages of medicines and other essential goods, leading to a dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation.

Last month, the United Nations warned of imminent famine conditions for millions of Sudanese. “It is truly the stuff of nightmares,” said Edem Wosornu from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Amnesty International reported last year that both sides committed war crimes, including mass civilian casualties from deliberate and indiscriminate attacks, as well as sexual violence against women and girls.

The Paris meeting begins with political consultations involving over 20 ministers, primarily from Sudan’s neighboring countries, as well as representatives from key international organizations. The German Foreign Office aims to improve coordination of mediation efforts.

Last year, Germany provided €250 million ($266.3 million) for Sudan and its neighboring countries, with €65 million allocated to Sudan and €180 million to its neighbors.

“We cannot let Sudan become a forgotten crisis,” the French Foreign Ministry stated, emphasizing the need to ensure safe and unhindered access for aid workers and support for refugee reception centers in the region.

In February, the United Nations estimated $4.1 billion in emergency aid was needed, with only 5% of the amount funded so far, according to French diplomatic sources.