Estimated costs for safeguarding these sites and providing emergency response is approximately 11 million USD.* 

From 6 to 10 July 2023, ICCROM – in partnership with UNESCO Paris, UNESCO Cairo and UNESCO Khartoum, and in close collaboration with ICOMOS International and the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation (EHRF) – co-organized a workshop in Cairo, Egypt, to support Sudan’s National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) in safeguarding Sudan’s heritage amid the ongoing crisis.  

ICCROM's Sudan workshop_Undertaking systematic situation analysis and considering possible interactions between conflict dynamics and risks to all forms of heritage is crucial for identifying proactive steps to safeguard heritage in times of crisis. This workshop, which was conceived, designed and organized by ICCROM’s flagship programme, First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR) and the ICCROM Sharjah Regional Office, conducted a similar situation analysis and risk assessment over five days alongside professionals from NCAM, international agencies, local partners and experts from ICCROM-FAR’s wide network of cultural first aiders. 

The workshop identified more than 139 at-risk heritage sites, buildings and collections – including World Heritage sites, museums and archaeological sites across Sudan – 77* of which were categorized as being at a higher risk due to their exposure to multiple hazards, such as intentional targeting, indiscriminate war damage, looting, flooding and fire. 

Key outcomes

Building on the results of the first workshop held from 3 to 5 June 2023, this second initiative assisted NCAM in developing an action plan and a Crisis Response Team to identify priorities for intervention, mobilize resources and coordinate actions on the ground to safeguard Sudan’s cultural heritage. NCAM staff also learned how to assess risks and identify actions for documenting, securing and stabilizing heritage using ICCROM’s field-tested tools and resources. 

Specific workshop outputs include: 

  • Damage and risk assessment forms for movable, immovable and intangible heritage tailored to Sudan’s emergency context.
  • A needs assessment form to identify supplies, equipment, logistics and resources to mitigate and respond to identified risks. 
  • A spreadsheet detailing collections and heritage sites by region and classified from low to medium and high risk. 
  • A list of 77* priority collections and heritage sites at high risk with associated measures to mitigate the identified risks. 
  • An action plan and budget outlining the resources required for the Crisis Response Team to conduct emergency operations.   
Workshop highlights 

After discussing and systematically updating the situation analysis, ICCROM-FAR Senior Programme Leader Aparna Tandon, together with Abdelhamid Salah and Amira Sadik Aly from EHRF, guided the workshop participants in identifying risk mitigation measures as per regional sectors and heritage types.   

Zeynep Gül Ünal, ICOMOS Vice-President, shared procedures for planning and activating crisis response, including establishing effective communication protocols in critical conditions. The overall framework for crisis response was complemented by a contribution from the Egyptian Red Crescent on best practices for ensuring personal safety and security in emergencies. 

Participants also contextualized ICCROM’s damage and risk assessment forms for movable, immovable and intangible heritage. The team engaged in a scenario-based simulation that helped them test and refine the forms, as well as understand how to strengthen in-crisis coordination and communication mechanisms. 

A gathering of ICCROM partners on the workshop’s final day underscored the solidarity of the international community to support and safeguard Sudan’s heritage.  

Zaki Aslan, Director of the ICCROM-Sharjah Regional Office, and George Papagiannis, Head of the UNESCO Office in Khartoum, commenced the meeting, expressing the dedication of ICCROM and UNESCO, and invited contributions from other partners to support NCAM’s efforts.  

This partners meeting brought together representatives from: 

  • UNESCO Paris 
  • UNESCO Cairo 
  • UNESCO Khartoum 
  • US Department of State Cultural Heritage Center 
  • The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative  
  • Kyoto City Archaeological Research Institute 
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)  
  • ICOM Paris 
  • ICOM Arab  
  • ICOM Egypt 
  • ICOM CC - Committee for Conservation  
  • ICOM ICMS - International Committee for Museum Security  
  • Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation (EHRF) 
  • Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage in Bahrain (ARC-WH) 
  • Cultural Emergency Response (CER) 
  • ALIPH Foundation 
  • British Council Cultural Protection Fund (CPF) 
The way forward

The strategic governance of the Crisis Response Team to safeguard Sudan’s heritage will be overseen by the Crisis Response Council, chaired by Prof Ibrahim Musa and comprising Dr Ghalia Gar Elnabi, Dr Noureldin Elragig, Prof Intisar Soghayroun and Prof Hassan Hussain. In Cairo, the Central Coordination Office, led by the emergency response coordinator Dr Eglal Elmalik, who is a former ICCROM Council Member, will collect data gathered from the damage and risk assessment expeditions conducted by the five field offices in Sudan.  

ICCROM in SudanWithin the next six months, NCAM is preparing to set up an office in Cairo, purchase personal safety and security gear for NCAM staff working on the ground in Sudan, carry out risk assessments for the 77* sites identified, and implement risk mitigation measures in four museums. This initial effort will require a concerted contribution from partners in terms of technical support, training initiatives, supplies and equipment, as well as an initial amount of approximately $855,000 USD.* 

ICCROM urges all its partners to continue to support these efforts to safeguard Sudan’s cultural heritage in the ongoing crisis. ICCROM will ensure its continued support by providing training to NCAM staff on risk mitigation and first aid to cultural heritage

ICCROM's in Sudan

“Through this workshop, NCAM developed a strategy for protection and preservation of cultural heritage that should be implemented immediately with the current personnel in Cairo and Sudan to prevent further damage to heritage. In this regard, the continuous support and expertise of international partners is crucial to take action before it’s too late.” – Professor Ibrahim Musa, Director General of NCAM

ICCROM in Sudan

To know more and join the efforts to safeguard Sudan’s cultural heritage, write to or

*This count will be updated once the risk assessment is complete. Please contact or for more information.