Sudan

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Hay Al Jabal neighbourhood of Ag Geneina town is like a ghost town, with an almost complete lack of residents in most parts and many houses or traditional huts torched.
  • A little over half of IDPs and 45 per cent of refugee families across Sudan are food insecure, according to WFP's latest FSMS report.
  • Cereal prices are at record levels, due to a weak local currency and soaring prices of fuel and agricultural inputs, inflating production and transportation, according to FAO
  • In 2020, WFP provided food assistance to 7.5 million people across Sudan.
  • UNDP is expanding its response to assist host communities and refugees in eastern Sudan.

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Situation Report

Key Figures

7.1M
severely food-insecure people
8.9M
people targeted for assistance in 2021
1.1M
refugees
2.55M
internally displaced people
34,272
total people who contracted COVID-19
2,446
COVID-19-related deaths
63,110
Ethiopian refugees from Tigray (UNHCR)
7.6M
People reached with aid (Jan-Dec 2020)

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Situation Report

Funding

$1.9B
Required
$202.7M
Received
10%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Paola Emerson

Head of Office for OCHA Sudan

James Steel

Head, Communications and Information Management

Alimbek Tashtankulov

Public Information Officer

Media

Climate change leaves Ethiopian refugees vulnerable (Mary Theru, producer / Joshua Werema, camperaperson, editor / Andre Therik, drone operator ) UNHCR

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Feature
Hay Al Jebel, Ag Geneina May 2021

Hay Al Jebel neighbourhood is “a ghost town” in Ag Geneina

Driving through the Hay Al Jabal neighbourhood of Ag Geneina town is like driving through a ghost town. There is a sense of surreal tranquillity, with almost complete lack of residents in most parts and many houses or traditional huts called rakubas torched. The burnt and cracked remains of earthen pots are silent witnesses of the calamity that had befallen the area.

It has been about a month since a wave of inter-communal violence engulfed parts of Ag Geneina, including Hay Al Jabal, with people fleeing violence, firefights in the streets, houses torched and looted. “When the fighting started near our house, we all fled to Abuzar camp, with our children, and only our clothes on and some small things. We ran for our lives as there was a heavy shooting,” Sarah (not her real name), a 25-year old resident of Hay Al Jabal neighbourhood, said near her torched house.

“We lost everything, everything was burned down, the sacks of millet and other food we had, even our kitchen utensils were either taken or burned,” Sarah said.

Sarah and her family arrived in the area in 2003 when the conflict started in Darfur. They were displaced from an area outside of Ag Geneina. After 18 years, they are now displaced again. She and her seven children, and her parents are now sheltering in the nearby Abuzar camp.

Her house is in a part of the neighbourhood inhabited mainly by members of Massalit, Zaghawa and Bargo tribes. She used to sell some groceries and other supplies in the market to make a living. Now she is trying to make a meagre income by washing clothes for other people or cleaning their houses. “Whatever money I manage to make we buy food,” Sarah said, adding her husband is now unemployed.

The parts of the neighbourhood where people of Arab descent live were also affected by fighting. “An RPG rocket landed just near our house and bullets were flying around, while we tried to keep the children and women deeper inside the house,” said Muntasir (not his real name), the father of five who has over 10 people, including his five grandchildren, in his household.

“When the people with arms came over, we managed to hide our Massalit neighbours and protect them,” he said. “We have been living here for more than 20 years with our Massalit, Zaghawa and Bargo neighbours without any problems, but now our area looks like a war zone.”

His extended family is staying at home and schools are closed or occupied by people displaced by conflict. Muntasir’s elder son cannot go to work as the areas he needs to go to may not be safe for him.

Following the recent wave of violence in Ag Geneina, there is a deep polarization and increased apprehension. People of visibly Massalit appearance do not go to areas inhabited by Arabs and vice versa, Arabs do not go to Massalit areas for fear of being targeted.

Meanwhile, all parts of Hay Al Jabal are suffering from lack of water and electricity. During the violence in early April, the water pumps and generators powering the electricity and water systems were damaged, and the people who were operating them fled.

“We just came back to try and salvage whatever we can, but as you see nothing is left, only ashes,” said Sarah. "How can we live here, without water and with no roof over our heads? We don’t even have a kas [cup] to drink from.”

Muntasir echoed Sarah’s sentiments. “We have not had running water for almost a month. We buy one and a half of barrels of water delivered by water cart sellers for 3,000 SDG [about US$7.7], which lasts for only one day as we are more than 10 people in the household. We have to buy bottled water for drinking as the water delivered by water carts is too salty.”

The neighbourhood did not have power for about two weeks. “When there is no electricity, there is no water,” Safia, Sarah’s sister said.

Sarah and her extended family approached the Abuzar camp officials for help, but they were told that they are not IDPs registered in the camp and that aid workers would come and assist them in their neighbourhoods. “So far, nobody has come and asked us what we need, nor how we are  surviving,” she said.

While there is police presence in various parts of the neighbourhood, mainly the Central Reserve Police deployed from Khartoum, some residents are still not convinced it is safe to return to their homes. “We want to be sure of our safety before we return, that is the first thing. Then what do we return to? There is nothing left, no food, nothing to cook in and keep supplies, not even a sareer [traditional bedframe] to sleep on. We need help so that we can start going back,” Khadija, another resident in her 30s, said with frustration in her voice.

While the security situation remains tense and unpredictable in Ag Geneina, humanitarian organisations have been scaling up response to meet the needs of people affected. About 124,400 people received food assistance, over 51,000 can access healthcare services and about 30,000 people have access to safe water.

However, there are various challenges that the aid agencies face. Diminishing funding is a major issues, which may result in many people like Sarah not receiving the assistance they desperately need. “We are glad that we are living and able to eat, what can we do? Allah Kareem [God is gracious],” said Sarah referring to the expression used by Sudanese for hope.

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Analysis
IDPs in Ag Geneina, January 2021 UNHCR
IDPs in Ag Geneina, January 2021 UNHCR

Half of IDPs and refugees are food insecure - WFP

A little over half of IDPs and 45 per cent of refugee families across Sudan are food insecure, according to the Food Security Monitoring Sytems (FSMS) report for the 1st quarter of 2021 issued by the World Food Programme (WFP). Despite the season’s above-average harvest (CFSAM), the food security situation has not improved compared to last year (which had a poor harvest), the FSMS report said. The areas with the highest prevalence of food insecurity include refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) communities in the Darfurs, Kordofans and Blue Nile State.

Economic vulnerability is cited as a major factor as 96 per cent of IDP households and 91 per cent of refugee households are spending more than 65 per cent of their total expenditure on food, FSMS report said.

While the prevalence of poor food consumption was on the lower side, more than one third of households relied on food-based and livelihood-based negative coping strategies, focusing on immediate food needs and depleting their assets. Most common livelihood coping strategies include spending savings and cutting down on expenses for other basic needs such as education and health.

Also, high market reliance for food supplies was observed. The market reliance for food commodities often reached higher than 90 per cent, with the other significant source being food assistance. With the deterioration of macroeconomic situation characterised by high inflation and food prices, the purchasing power of the households has significantly diminished.

Other contributing factors include protracted political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted livelihoods. Households headed by women were more likely to be food insecure than a household headed by men by at least 12 per cent, mostly due to limited access to the labour market. With the ongoing economic crisis and upcoming of the lean season in May, the food security situation is expected to worsen in the coming months.

For more information, please see the FSMS report here

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Trends
Local food market in El Obeid, North Kordofan, March 2021, Leni Kinzli - WFP
Local food market in El Obeid, North Kordofan, March 2021, Leni Kinzli - WFP

Food prices high despite above-average harvest – FAO GIEWS

The harvest of the 2020 coarse grains crops (sorghum and millet) was completed in early 2021, while the harvest of the small irrigated wheat crop was concluded in March, the latest FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) Country Brief reported.

According to the findings of the Government-led Annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM), the 2020 cereal production is estimated at 8 million tonnes, 12 per cent up from 2019 and about 20 per cent higher than the average of the past five years, driven by an increased sorghum output. However, prices of cereals in March were exceptionally high, at record levels and up to three times their already elevated year-earlier values, mainly due to a weak local currency and soaring prices of fuel and agricultural inputs, inflating production and transportation.

The 2020 June-September rainy season was favourable, with exceptionally abundant precipitation amounts and extended duration. Early-onset of seasonal rains in May was followed by average to above-average rainfall amounts in June and by below-average to average rains in July. Subsequently, exceptionally abundant rains were received in August and September, which benefited yields but triggered widespread floods, affecting about 1.5 million hectares of crops. However, the negative impact of floods was mitigated by the unusual continuation of the rainy season until October, which allowed the full maturation of sorghum crops that were late planted in August instead of replanting sesame crops that were affected by floods and Sesame Gall Midge.

According to the results of the latest IPC analysis, about 7.1 million people (16 per cent of the analyzed population) were estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and Phase 4: “Emergency”) in the period October-December 2020. This figure includes 5.8 million people in IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and 1.3 million people in IPC Phase 4: “Emergency” levels of acute food insecurity. The main drivers are macro-economic challenges resulting in rampant food and non-food inflation, widespread floods which affected 875 000 people, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalation of inter-communal violence in western and eastern areas.

The highest prevalence of food insecurity is reported in South Kordofan, North Kordofan, North Darfur and in Gedaref states, where the main drivers of food insecurity are compounded by inter-communal violence. In these areas, over 20 per cent of the population is estimated to be severely food insecure. In addition, in Khartoum State, 15 per cent of the population is estimated to face food insecurity, indicating severe food access constraints for market dependent urban households.

Humanitarian needs are particularly high for IDPs, estimated at 2.5 million people and for 1.1 million refugees, including 762 000 people from South Sudan and 74 000 people from Ethiopia.

For more information, please see the GIEWS Country Brief update

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WFP food distribution for Ethiopian refugees Nov 2020

WFP provided food assistance to 7.5 million people across Sudan in 2020

In 2020, the World Food Programme (WFP) provided food assistance to 7.5 million people across Sudan, WFP said in its 2020 Outcome Performance Report. This includes 5.7 million people who received assistance under the General Food Distributions modality. About 820,000 people received food for assets and close to 1 million people received food for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.

In 2020, 9.6 million people in Sudan were food insecure (IPC, 2020) due to several factors that include protracted political instability, flooding, deteriorating macroeconomic environment characterized by high inflation levels and low harvests in the previous farming seasons. The situation was exacerbated by the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the demise of jobs and other sources of livelihoods. During this period, WFP Sudan continued with its efforts to ensure food security to people affected by these shocks. The response to various emergencies and implementation of resilience-building initiatives was done under the Country Strategy Plan (2019-2023).

For more, please see the 2020 Outcome Performance Report

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Anna* prepares traditional coffee in the kitchen area of her tent in Tunaydbah refugee settlement, eastern Sudan.  © UNHCR/Ahmed Kwarte
Anna* prepares traditional coffee in the kitchen area of her tent in Tunaydbah refugee settlement, eastern Sudan. © UNHCR/Ahmed Kwarte

Heat and rains make the life of Ethiopian refugees miserable in eastern Sudan

As the rains begin in Sudan, UNHCR and partners race to shield refugees from the risk of flooding.

By Catherine Wachiaya in Tunaydbah refugee settlement, Sudan

Anna* recalls how just a few days ago she would sigh with relief as she stepped out of the scorching heat into the welcoming shade of her tent in eastern Sudan’s Tunaydbah refugee settlement.

“The heat can be unbearable,” says the 21-year-old Ethiopian refugee who is now grappling with another problem – heavy rains.

Her struggle with the extreme weather is similar to that of thousands of Ethiopians who have arrived in eastern Sudan over the past six months, after fleeing violence in Tigray. Many brought very few belongings and after months of scorching heat, are now facing the long rains, which begin in May and last until October.

Rain and strong winds have already destroyed some shelters and latrines and resulted in flooding in some areas of the settlement, which hosts some 20,000 refugees.

The settlement, which is in a semi-arid area where temperatures can reach as high as 45°C, was set up in January this year to cope with the influx after another settlement, Um Rakuba reached its full capacity. The flat surrounding landscape, dotted with sparse bushes and rocky outcrops, is prone to flash floods that have become more severe in recent years.

Various studies, including by UN agencies, suggest this is due to changes in the climate that are resulting in increasingly unpredictable rainfall and rising temperatures across Sudan’s arid and semi-arid drylands. Climate change is being felt worldwide, but Sudan is among the countries that are most vulnerable and least ready to adapt to its effects, which it is experiencing while simultaneously struggling with conflict, poverty and high levels of displacement.

Last year, heavy rains and floods wreaked havoc across Sudan, affecting hundreds of thousands of people, including refugees and internally displaced people.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and partners are already evacuating refugees whose shelters have been affected by the rains and putting other measures in place.

Akaran Napakiro, a field officer with UNHCR based in Gedaref State where the settlement is located, is leading these efforts.

She explains that some 50 people whose tents were destroyed have been moved to one of the agency’s larger tents and that there are plans to provide refugees with more durable shelters to protect them from the elements. Relief items, including food, blankets and sleeping mats that were stockpiled will be distributed to affected families.

“We want to combine all these efforts to prevent other problems that come along with the floods, like cholera,” she says.

She adds that a topographical survey of the area was done to better understand which areas of the settlement are most at risk of flooding.

“The topographical images show that when it floods, the western side will be more affected,” Akaran explains. “We are creating canals to avert the water away from the population on that side.”

With access to the settlement set to become more difficult as heavy rains render roads impassable, there are plans to reinforce the road to the nearest town where supplies come from over 130 kilometres away.

Another priority is to create more sustainable conditions for refugees living here. That includes addressing their energy needs to reduce deforestation and the need for them to search or pay for firewood. Together with the Government of Sudan and partners including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNHCR has distributed energy-saving stoves and solar panels for cooking and lighting. UNDP has also installed solar lamps in common areas like markets and streets.

“Refugees are already using these stoves and cutting down the cost of energy,” explains Akaran.

She adds that they are also encouraged to make their own traditional cooking stoves which are energy-saving, convenient and culturally accepted.

Refugees are also being assisted to plant drought-resistant plants and fruits such as bananas, both to supplement their diets and to provide shade and greenery in the settlement.

As UNHCR works with partners to shield refugees from the rains, refugees like Anna continue adjusting to the extreme climate.

“I miss the nice weather and the normal life I had back home,” says Anna, who was studying psychology at university when the violence broke out. “If I could, I would return home right now. But the situation is still terrible, so I have to stay here. At least I am safe.”

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Providing employment for refugees and local community members, and improving safety and security in eastern Sudan, UNDPldin Abdalla Mohame
Providing employment for refugees and local community members, and improving safety and security in eastern Sudan, April 2021, UNDP

UNDP response for host communities, and Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan

As the number of refugees in eastern Sudan is increasing, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is expanding its response, with further efforts underway to assist host communities and refugees. However, a funding gap of US$2.7m remains, limiting essential support to vulnerable groups. Currently, $2 has been committed from UNDP resources to address urgent needs, however, there is a clear demand for additional assistance for local communities as tensions are becoming visible.

Alongside the Government of Sudan, UN agencies and partners, UNDP interventions are progressing in refugee camps and nearby host communities, supporting the protection, emergency employment, and access to basic services including energy and health.

“With the situation continuing, longer-term, durable solutions are increasingly necessary, providing help for those in need now, and important community assets for the future,” said Trond Husby, UNDP Sudan’s Crisis Coordinator. “As a result, our work balances the urgent needs of arriving refugees, and the increasing pressure on already vulnerable local host communities.”

For more information, please see the report here

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World-Vision-launch-five-year-strategy small

World Vision launches its new five-year strategy, targeting 2.1 million children in Sudan

World Vision Sudan has launched its five-year strategy starting in 2021. In this next strategy cycle, World Vision plans to reach 2.1 million of Sudan’s most vulnerable children across the Blue Nile, South Kordofan, South and East Darfur states.

The strategy prioritises food security and livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition, as well as child protection programmes to directly impact children and their communities.

World Vision will continue with its programmes in these four states but deepen efforts and operations into areas not previously accessible.

Full article here.

Additional resources for the strategy:

  • Watch the video for highlights of what the strategy priority highlights.

  • Read or download the short version strategy here.

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COVID-safe-school-kit UNICEF
Water station at a school in Sudan (UNICEF, 2021)

Making schools in Sudan safe during the coronavirus pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country like anywhere else, the Sudanese Federal Ministry of Education closed all 16,328 public schools on 15 March 2020. After one year of closure, most of the basic schools in Sudan opened in March 2021, except for few states that are affected by increasing inter-communal violence like West Darfur.

To ensure children could return to school safely, a national water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in School Assessment was carried out in 2019. It was found that nearly 55 per cent of schools do not have access to improved water and 49 per cent do not have access to improved sanitation. Even though sanitation and hygiene are key in the prevention of communicable diseases like COVID-19, only 9.9 per cent of all sample schools were equipped with handwashing facilities with water and soap at the time of assessment and a majority of schools do not have standard procedures for safe treatment of both solid waste and sludge from sanitation facilities.

The challenge in ensuring the safe reopening of schools was huge. With competing priorities and limited resources in the country, the UNICEF WASH section had to think creatively and find a solution that would enable more schools to be opened while limiting the spread of COVID-19. As a result, a COVID-19 SAFE School Kit was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education allowing for more schools to open safely.

The COVID-19 Safe School kit was also specifically designed for the school context in Sudan, with considerations to the flooring that typically exists in primary schools and the materials used in schools for cleaning or disinfection purposes. The cost of this kit is US$183. The total cost of the WASH package of support (including water tanks) is about $300 per school, costing $0.75 per child. About 1,000 schools were targeted, representing about 12.5 per cent of schools without access to safe water.

According to the Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), 2.7 million school-aged children need education assistance in 2021. Of these, 2.2 million children (1.21 million girls and 990,000 boys) will cost US$125 million (2021 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan). The education sector also reports that about 1.8 million vulnerable children at schools are experiencing a crisis, emergency or catastrophic levels of food insecurity, putting them at a high risk of dropping out of school or having their education affected if they are not adequately supported. As of 30 March, the education sector has received about $698,000 (0.5 per cent) of their HRP requirement, according to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

Read more on the COVID-19 Safe School Kit for safe learning in Schools

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Sudan---Country-Refugee-Response-Plan-(CRP)---January---December-2021

UNHCR and partners launch response plan to assist 1 million refugees in 2021

On 30 March 2021, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)—together with 38 international and national partners—launched the 2021 inter-agency refugee funding appeal for Sudan. The US$574 million response plan will assist over one million refugees in Sudan to meet their basic needs, bolster self-reliance, and realize their rights.

Sudan hosts one of the region's largest South Sudanese refugee populations, with over 762,000 of them living in the country as of February 2021. Over the years, refugees also arrived from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria, the Central African Republic and other countries. Sudan continued to uphold its open border policy in 2020 and by the end of the year received about 50,000 refugees from Ethiopia's Tigray region. More new influxes were reported into Blue Nile and White Nile states.

Refugees in Sudan face high levels of poverty further exacerbated by the continued economic crisis and inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal flooding which hit record-high levels last year. Sudanese people also grapple with high levels of food insecurity and forced displacement, with around 2.5 million being internally displaced.

"The newly launched response plan brings together 38 international and national organizations to work towards solutions and provide immediate assistance in all sectors - including food security, livelihood, protection, water, sanitation, hygiene, health, shelter and relief items," said UNHCR's Representative in Sudan, Axel Bisschop. "Nearly 270,000 Sudanese from the host communities will also benefit from these inter-agency initiatives.

Through increased engagement with development actors, UNHCR and partners will also support the Government of Sudan's efforts to include refugees in its national health and education systems, support self-reliance, access to employment and durable solutions - as pledged at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum.

The UNHCR Country Refugee Response Plan is integrated into the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) which estimates that 13.4 million people—including nationals, internally displaced persons, and returnees—will need humanitarian assistance in 2021.

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Director-of-OAD-Reena-Ghelani-visits-a-water-project-in-Al-Salam-area WDarfur 21Sept20-(5)
Girls collecting water at a waterpoint in Ag Geneina, West Darfur (archive, OCHA)

A sweet cup of coffee in Jemareek market in Ag Geneina

If you stop by the Jemareek Market in Ag Geneina, capital West of Darfur State, and sit on plastic chairs under a large tree, a 10-year-old girl would come up to you asking what you would like to have: a cup of tea or coffee. Amina (not her real name) would listen carefully to what you want and go to Zahra Arbab, a tea lady at the market, to fetch you a hot cup of coffee with ginger and spices or tea with mint.

One would think that Amina is Zahra’s daughter, and when asked if Amina’s school has re-opened and whether she is back to school—while all schools in the eight localities in the state should have re-opened on 7 March, some schools were unable to resume classes due to the occupation of buildings by IDPs—it turns out that they are not related. Zahra employs Amina as a tea girl, helping her serve customers tea, washing utensils, fetching water and cleaning chairs.

Very often they find it difficult to communicate as they speak different languages. Amina does not speak or understand Arabic. Zahra is from the Fur tribe and originally from Zalingei, in Central Darfur, while Amina is a Masalit, originally from Gokar, a village within Ag Geneina locality in West Darfur. Amina was displaced, together with her mother and grandmother, to Chad, but returned to Ag Geneina internally displaced persons (IDP) camps with her grandmother six months ago. Her mother remained in Chad and her father died. Meanwhile, her grandmother returned to their village of origin in Gokar two months ago leaving Halima behind in Ag Geneina Town.

Zahra does not know who Halima lives with; she assumes Amina must reside with some relatives. Amina was not willing to disclose the nature of relationship with the people she currently lives with in Ag Geneina. It is unclear who receives the SDG 300 that she is paid daily. Amina believes her grandmother will come back for her someday. The little girl has never been to school in her village of origin, or in Chad nor now in Ag Geneina.

Partners working in child protection have registered 73 unaccompanied or separated children in Ag Geneina and surrounding villages that were affected by inter-communal conflict in January, which displaced about 108,500 people (22,250 families) to Ag Geneina Town and surrounding villages. As of 24 March, child protection partners have reunited 21 children with their families. Efforts are underway to trace the families of the remaining 52 children who are now in foster care among families within their communities. The children receive psychosocial support, including counselling, despite the minimal resources that the child protection partners are operating with.

According to the latest update from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Sudan Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) there are about 1,100 child-headed households and 190 unaccompanied minors in and around Ag Geneina. If not protected, these children are at a high risk of abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect. Child protection partners continue to engage in the response including government authorities, UNICEF, Save the Children, War child Canada and Child Development foundation. Organizations are facing problems of limited funding for child protection response and about $850,000 is needed to meet the immediate protection needs of children and adolescents.

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Only-Together-We-Complete-the-Picture- English2

IOM launches the ‘Only Together We Complete the Picture’ campaign

Supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched on 16 March the ‘Only Together We Complete the Picture’ campaign. The campaign highlights messages of solidarity, acceptance and respect, with the aim of fostering a culture that values diversity and the contribution that migrants bring to Sudanese society, while emphasizing how we are all united as human beings.

Sudan continues to be a major source, transit and destination country for migrants from across East and Horn of Africa and West and Central Africa, as well as the Middle East and Asia. It has become home to over one million migrants.

“Social cohesion and integration of migrants in host communities is fundamental for societies to thrive, especially diverse ones such as Sudan. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing challenges of social cohesion and has increased the risk of stigma, xenophobia, and discrimination,” said IOM Sudan Chief of Mission, Catherine Northing. “Through this campaign we want to spread a message of solidarity and promote understanding because only through unity can we form a more stable and prosperous society for all.”

The campaign will run for one month and include audio-visual content in English, Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromo, Hausa and Somali, representing the main languages spoken by migrants in Sudan. Additionally, street art paintings, SMS messages, radio broadcasts and posters placed in strategic public areas in the capital, Khartoum will be disseminated to maximise the campaigns reach.

Despite its own challenges, Sudan has kept its doors open to people fleeing war, hunger and hardship from several neighbouring countries, and continues to be a place of safety for many. Migrants contribute to fuelling growth, filling labour market gaps, and enriching Sudanese society. Although they have played significant roles on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been more vulnerable to its impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the inclusion of migrants and social cohesion in Sudan. As a result, migrants are faced with substantial challenges, such as stigmatization, demonstrations of discrimination, and xenophobia which can undermine social cohesion within communities and prompt possible social exclusion of certain groups.

IOM Sudan designed a series of promotional materials with the aim of sensitizing citizens about the importance of avoiding stigma, xenophobia, hate speech, gender-based violence (GBV), misinformation and disinformation, and promoting collective solidarity and mutual respect.

This campaign comes as part of a larger programme, falling under IOM’s Migrant Protection and Assistance programme. IOM Sudan provides protection and assistance to migrants in need, including victims of human trafficking, smuggled migrants with protection needs, rejected asylum seekers, migrants in irregular situations for various reasons, stranded migrants and unaccompanied and separated migrant children, and other migrants at risk or subjected to violence, exploitation or abuse. Assistance is provided through IOM’s Migrant Resource and Response Centres (MRRC) located in Khartoum and Gedaref. A new centre is expected to open in Kassala state in April 2021.

For the original story go to the IOM website here

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Health centre rehabilitated in the east UNDP

Health centre rehabilitated, mobile clinics deployed for Tigray refugees and host communities

As the influx of refugees continues along the Ethiopia-Sudan border, with more than 61,000 having arrived to date, the limited healthcare services in the area for refugees and existing facilities for local communities in eastern Sudan are under pressure.

Responding to the crisis, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and partners have undertaken civil works – such as expanding health infrastructure by rehabilitating the Um Rakuba health centre – as well as deploying three mobile clinics to the wider area.

From a two-room clinic in disrepair—which was supporting up to 140 patients every week—the Um Rakuba health centre has expanded to six areas, assisting up to 1,000 patients per week. While regular services continued, locally employed labourers undertook extensive construction and repair, adding an examination room, an emergency room, a delivery room, a pharmacy, and an HIV testing room.

A range of equipment and supplies have been provided, including new patient beds, a medical waste incinerator and medical storage equipment – while solar panels are being added to ensure refrigeration for medicines.

The international NGO Mercy Corps is providing medical personnel for day-to-day operations. The World Health Organization and the Global Fund have provided critically needed medicines, and the International Organization for Migration is supporting the construction of latrines.

For more, please see the full exposure story at this link

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Flooded-neighbourhood-in-Khartoum Sept20 OCHA small
A flooded neighbourhood in Khartoum State (OCHA, 2020)

SHF supports free medical care for flood-displaced people north of Khartoum

Malak Abdulaziz is happy that her one-and-a-half-year-old son, Osman Mohammed, is getting better after receiving treatment at the temporary health facility in Wad-Ramli, north of Khartoum, that offers medical care to people affected by the floods of 2020.

Malak’s home was destroyed by the floods and she is now living with relatives as she waits for the government to provide a land plot to rebuild their homes. The September 2020 floods were devastating to Wad-Ramli residents who farm on the banks of River Nile as they were just recovering from the effects of the 2019 floods when the 2020 floods struck with more severity.

One day her son stopped eating and she knew there was something wrong. She took young Osman to the clinic run by the national NGO Almanar Voluntary Organization where he was found to be anaemic and was placed on medication. A week later, when she took him back for a review, the doctor reassured her that he was doing well. Malak was happy to see that he was eating well and seemed to have more energy.

The tented temporary health facility where Osman was receiving medical assistance is managed by Almanar with the support of the Sudan Ministry of Health and funding by the Sudan Humanitarian Fund. The health facility offers free medical assistance to about 5,000 people in the area affected by the 2020 floods.

Malak lost everything in the floods and would not have been able to afford medical care for her son. “The floods destroyed our house, furniture, food - we lost everything. We now live in my cousin’s house with five other people. This clinic has given us a life-line as it is difficult for us to re-establish ourselves after we lost our home,” she said.

The health facility is made up of three tents and receives between 70 and 100 patients daily. The most common heath issues attended to in the clinic are respiratory and skin diseases, and malaria. Some children under five years arrive at the clinic suffering from moderate malnutrition, while the most common chronic diseases the clinic receives are hypertension and diabetes. The health facility does not charge for consultations, laboratory investigations or medicine. Tests for malaria, typhoid, blood haemoglobin, helicobacter pylori (a bacterial infection in the stomach that usually happens to children) and pregnancy are carried out at the health facility for free.

The clinic's staff consist of two laboratory technicians, two medical assistants, two pharmacists and 10 community volunteers. The health facility can facilitate referrals to the larger government-managed hospital about 10km away. Also, Almanar will carry out health awareness sessions and training of health staff once the COVID-19 protocols allow. The project is expected to end in May 2021.

For more on SHF and how to donate, please see the link

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Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
Arrival of COVAX in Khartoum 3March21 WHO
Arrival of COVID-19 vaccine in Sudan (3 March 2021, WHO)

Sudan receives first batch of COVID-19 vaccines - over 800,000 doses

On 3 March, Sudan became the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to receive vaccines against COVID-19 from the COVAX facility as over 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine touched down at the Khartoum International Airport. The vaccines were delivered with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) support through COVAX, a coalition co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi (the Global Vaccines Alliance) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working on the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries regardless of their income.

The delivery follows the arrival of 4.5 metric tons of syringes and safety boxes, part of a Gavi-funded and supported global stockpile, that UNICEF delivered on behalf of the COVAX Facility on 26 February 2021, critical for the safe and effective vaccination. WHO has worked with national authorities to put a vaccination strategy in place that includes training vaccinators, ensuring vaccine safety, and surveillance for adverse effects. 

The initial consignment of vaccines received on 3 March in Sudan will support the vaccination of health care workers and people above 45 years old with chronic medical conditions, living in areas with high transmission or anticipated high transmission, marking the first phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign.

By vaccinating Sudan’s health care workers first, they can continue providing life-saving services and maintain a functional health care system. It is critical that health care workers who protect the lives of others are protected first.

Dr. Omer Mohamed Elnagieb, Sudan's Minister of Health, appreciated all partners who worked together for Sudan to become the first country across the region to receive vaccines against COVID-19 through the COVAX Facility.

“The vaccines are a critical part of controlling the spread of the virus in Sudan and eventually return to normalcy,” said Dr. Omer Mohamed Elnagieb. He urged those eligible to register and get vaccinated as soon as they get an appointment.

Globally and in Sudan, COVID-19 has disrupted delivery of essential services and continues to claim lives and disrupt livelihoods. As of 1 March 2021, Sudan had over 28,505 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,892 associated deaths, since the first COVID-19 positive case was announced on 13 March 2020.

“This is great news. Through the COVAX Facility, Gavi ensures that all countries have an equal opportunity to access these life-saving vaccines. We continue to work towards leaving no one behind with immunization,” said Jamilya Sherova, Senior Country Manager for Sudan at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“Our hope in recovery from the pandemic is through the vaccines,” Abdullah Fadil, Representative of UNICEF Sudan, affirmed. “Vaccines have reduced the scourge of numerous infectious diseases, saved millions of lives and have effectively eliminated many life-threatening diseases,” he continued.

Dr. Nima Saeed Abid, WHO Representative in Sudan, confirmed that the vaccines received today are safe and have been approved through WHO’s Emergency Use Listing Procedure for use in Sudan and other countries. He applauded the Government of Sudan, the Federal Ministry of Health and partners for the great milestone that will ensure the people of Sudan are protected from the deadly disease that continues to spread.

“The World Health Organization is pleased to be part of this milestone for the COVID-19 response in Sudan. Vaccines work and vaccines should be for all,” stressed Dr. Nima. “But we should always remember that vaccinations only work as part of a comprehensive approach – they are only one tool in our arsenal against the virus and are most effective when combined with all other public health and personal prevention strategies.”

With Gavi support, UNICEF and WHO will support the Government of Sudan to roll out the vaccine campaign and organize nationwide vaccination drives to reach all eligible persons with vaccines.

For media contacts and multimedia content please go to the link

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Sudan

Situation Report
Feature
ethiopian-refugees-in-Um-Raquba---WHH
Community volunteers assisting in non-food items distribution and supporting people with special needs in carrying items to their tents (WHH)

Ethiopian refugees from Tigray find refuge in Sudan

Tens of thousands of vulnerable Ethiopian people have crossed the border into eastern Sudan fleeing conflict in the Tigray region that started in November 2020. The refugees are arriving tired, with little or no belongings and humanitarian organizations in Sudan are providing the refugees with the assistance they desperately need.

The Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) has provided nine humanitarian partners with US$6.3 million to respond to the needs of the refugees. As of 23 March, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Government’s Commissioner for refugees (COR) have registered over 62,000 Ethiopian refugees who have crossed the border into eastern Sudan.

Yonas (not his real name) is one of the refugees currently living in Um Rakoba camp in the eastern state of Gedaref, with his wife and six children. “We used to live a simple life and I used to work in a storehouse. I earned a good salary. My children were in different school years and we lived peacefully with all the tribes in the region, without any problems and conflict. Suddenly, we found ourselves surrounded by war and had to run towards the Sudanese borders to save our lives,” Yonas said.

“We arrived in Hamdayet in mid-November [2020] and were transferred to the Um Rakoba camp where the situation was bad. We lived in the open and under the trees. We did not feel safe at that moment,” he added.

In Um Rakoba camp, humanitarians are racing against the clock to meet the needs of these refugees. With funding of over $520,000 from the SHF, the international NGO Welthungerhilfe (WHH) has been scaling up its response to cater for the refugees. WHH is responding to the emergency needs of the most vulnerable, ensuring that people have access to drinkable water, safe and proper sanitation facilities and improving their awareness about hygiene related issues, with a particular focus on COVID-19 prevention.

WHH is also ensuring that refugees get timely access to emergency shelter and household supplies. Protection activities are also being provided to women and children from both the refugee and host community where they are provided with safe spaces and are sensitized on key protection issues and referral pathways.

“Welthungerhilfe has provided us with water jerricans, water disinfectant, soap and sanitary towels. Before we were using the bushes as our toilets, but WHH constructed toilets for us, assisted in pitching our tents and established hand washing facilities in different places in the camp,” Yonas said.

WHH has also given Yonas and other refugees in the camp with cooking utensils, traditional sleeping mattresses, and blankets. “Our situation has changed, and we now feel stable and satisfied,” Yonas noted.

Tadesse (not his real name) is another Ethiopian refugee in the camp. “I used to run a small shop to help us earn money to make ends meet. One day, we were shocked by the sound of explosions that forced us to flee to Sudan. Everything was gone and I had nothing; our life became dependent on aid distributions, which was only possible after registration,” Tadesse said.

“There were many of us who needed help in Hamdayet. We arrived there on 10 November 2020, after that we were moved to Um Rakoba camp on 12 November 2020 after a long trip full of dust and no food,” Tadesse went on.

When Tadesse and his wife arrived in Um Rakoba they slept on the ground under the trees. Tadesse’s wife was complaining about the difficult conditions in the camp. After a few days, aid organizations delivered tents, mosquito nets, mattresses, blankets and soap. “It is better now than before, we found comfort and peace, but we need more support,” Tadesse said.

UNHCR in Sudan launched an Ethiopian refugee response plan for the period November 2020 to June 2021 for a projected 100,000 refugees at a cost of $147 million. Over 30 partner organizations are involved in this response. Sudan hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa with over 1 million refugees and asylum seekers in the country, according to UNHCR.

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Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
SDN 2021HNO

Sudan 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan and Humanitarian Needs Overview published

The humanitarian community in Sudan has published the 2021 Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). The 2021 HRP was developed through close consultation with humanitarian partners and the government authorities.

After a remarkable year of political transformation and progress made in ensuring people’s freedoms, the transitional period continues to open up opportunities for peace-building and international engagement. Sudan is facing a pivotal moment as the transitional government pursues a peaceful resolution after years of internal conflict; reversing the economic crisis and advancing sustainable development; addressing a growing humanitarian crisis. The international community’s support and engagement remain critical.

In 2021, a total of 13.4 million people – a quarter of the country’s population – are projected to need humanitarian assistance, according to the 2021 HNO. This is an increase of 4.1 million people in 2020 and the highest number in the past decade. Under the 2021 HRP, humanitarian partners intend to support 8.9 million of the most vulnerable people with the total financial requirements of US$1.9 billion.

The humanitarian community thanks the generous support and engagement of donors with humanitarian action in Sudan and urges them to consider early and flexible disbursement of support to the HRP. This will allow aid agencies to sustain humanitarian operations and provide timely crisis response.

Over 120,000 people have fled inter-communal violence in Darfur in the first month of 2021. This is double the number of displacements for the whole of 2020 and the collective support of all stakeholders is crucial to deliver lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable people.

For the full PDF version of the HRP 2021 please click here

For the full PDF version of the 2021 HNO please click here

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Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
BN map of arrivals - UNHCR

Thousands of Ethiopians seek asylum in Blue Nile State

Several thousand people fleeing escalating violence in Ethiopia’s Benishangul Gumuz region have sought safety in Sudan’s Blue Nile State over the last month.

Tensions have been high in the Metekel Zone since 2019 with several reports of inter-communal attacks in the region. The situation has rapidly escalated in the past three months. The federal Government of Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in the area on 21 January 2021.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, is working closely with Sudanese authorities and partners to assess the situation and respond to the humanitarian needs of the newly arrived, many of whom have arrived in hard-to-reach locations along the border.

Benishangul Gumuz is in western Ethiopia. The current displacement is not directly related to conflict in the country’s northern Tigray region which have pushed more than 61,000 to seek safety in Sudan in recent months.

Out of the 7,000 people estimated to have arrived in Blue Nile State, nearly 3,000 have been registered. This number is expected to increase as the verification exercise continues in all the locations where refugees are being hosted.

In the past weeks, UNHCR and partners have provided humanitarian assistance to nearly 1,000 refugees in Yabacher (Wad Al Mahi locality), on the Sudan-Ethiopia border. Refugees have received food, access to health, water and sanitation facilities, and aid supplies.

The majority of the asylum-seekers are living among the Sudanese host community who continue to welcome people seeking safety. UNHCR and partners are ramping up the response to support the government in its response. As of 31 January, UNHCR and partners have raised 48 per cent of the US$146 million requested under the inter-agency appeal for the response to the Tigray situation. The Blue Nile situation is currently not covered by the Tigray refugee response plan.

For the original story go to the UNHCR website here

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Sudan

Situation Report
Trends
NMSF availability of emergency medicines graph Jan 2021

Less than half of emergency medicines available

Located on one of the major streets of Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, 60th street, Lamis is listening carefully to a customer who came to her pharmacy looking for a medicine for a sick relative. She answers the questions of the young customer, with the shelves behind her half empty. The customer takes the medicine that is available and leaves.

“We have only medicines that are produced locally in Sudan, some antibiotics, painkillers and other medicines. As for the imported drugs, we have not been receiving them from suppliers for some time,” Lamis said, explaining why half of the shelves are empty.

“The suppliers say that they don’t have hard currency to buy and import the drugs. That is how we have only locally produced drugs,” the pharmacist said.

This means that some of the drugs, which are not produced locally are not available, she said. When asked what the people do if the medication they need is not available, she replies: “Allah Kareem [“Allah is the most generous” in Arabic]”.

Half-empty shelves at Lamis’ pharmacy symbolize the challenges that Sudan has been facing recently to ensure the supplies of medicines from abroad amidst the ongoing economic crisis, lack of hard currency and spiraling inflation.

Sudan’s National Medical Supplies Fund reports that the availability of essential emergency medicines reduced to 47 per cent by the end of January 2021 compared to 88 per cent in January 2020.

The latest available data from the Central Bank of Sudan indicates that in January-September 2020 Sudan imported about US$249 million worth of various medicines, about 14 per cent higher than during the same period of 2019, but is 25 per cent lower compared to 2017 (the year before the economic crisis started).

The lack of medicines is compounded by the cost of health services increasing by 200 per cent compared to last year. Health services have also been affected by lack of funding and strikes by health staff who have not received salaries and incentives for months. By the end of 2020, the number of functional primary healthcare centres decreased by 40 per cent across the country, according to the health sector estimates.

In 2020, despite these challenges and restrictions related to COVID-19 containment measures, health sector partners in Sudan provided 3.9 million people in Sudan with access to health services, of whom 2.9 million were people assisted in Darfur.

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Sudan

Situation Report
Feature
Kalduma and her children arrived in Ag Geneina on 16 January fleeing violence in Krinding 2 camp

IDPs in Ag Geneina, West Darfur live in overcrowded gathering sites

Kalduma Adam Mohammed and her eight children stay under a tree, day and night, at a gathering site near the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Ag Geneina, West Darfur as they cannot set up a makeshift shelter. “Mahal mafi [there is no space],” she explains in Arabic.

Kalduma and her children arrived in Ag Geneina on 16 January after they fled Krinding 2 IDP camp outside Ag Geneina following inter-communal violence last month. Tens of thousands of other IDPs arrived in the town, seeking shelter and safety in about 80 gathering sites, mostly public buildings, including schools.

Over the past weeks, humanitarian organisations have been ramping up response efforts in Ag Geneina. Kalduma and her children are amongst an estimated 67,400 IDPs in the town who received food for one month, blankets and other non-food relief supplies.

However, there are only five latrines for about 3,500 IDPs at the gathering site. Humanitarian agencies are providing safe and clean water, setting up water storage facilities, and a health clinic started serving the IDPs on 5 February. However, “congestion and lack of learning for children are key concerns,” said Taha Juma Ishaq, a chair of the IDP committee at the gathering site.

Meanwhile, humanitarians working on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are supplying more than 35,000 IDPs in Ag Geneina with water.

The plight of Kalduma and her children highlights the needs of more than 180,000 people in Darfur who fled their homes during the first month of 2021. In one month alone, more people were displaced than in the whole of 2021, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) data.

Meanwhile, emergency response is strained by lack of funds as aid agencies tend to receive the bulk of humanitarian funding during the second half of any given year. Aid organisations need early and flexible funding for the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan to sustain humanitarian operations and provide timely response.

Overall, humanitarian agencies in Sudan need US$1.9 billion to save lives and provide humanitarian assistance to 8.9 million people across the country in 2021. The cost of the response for 100,000 people in West Darfur for six months is estimated at $30 million. The key priorities are protection, WASH, shelter and NFIs, and education in emergencies.

So far, about $7 million have been mobilized for West Darfur response, about half of which is re-programmed funding. New funding includes $1.3 million from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF), $550,000 from the USAID through IOM’s Rapid Response Fund, and $270,000 from the Start Network.

Meanwhile, Kalduma is thinking about what they will do next. Like about 67 per cent of other IDPs in Ag Geneina (according to IOM) she would like to return to the camp they came from if the security is provided, their shelter is rebuilt, and basic services are available. “Our situation [at the gathering site] is unbearable,” she said.

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Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
WFP assistance to refugees arriving inSudan from Tigray in Ethiopia
WFP assistance to refugees arriving inSudan from Tigray in Ethiopia, November 2020_WFP

WFP Sudan calls for funding to support refugees from Ethiopia

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for funding to provide food and nutrition assistance to over 60,000 refugees who crossed from Ethiopia into eastern Sudan in recent months. WFP welcomes a contribution of US$800,000 from Japan.

 “WFP is grateful to the Government and people of Japan for this generous contribution, which comes at a critical time as the humanitarian situation at the border remains dire,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan Hameed Nuru.

The contribution from the Government of Japan helps WFP provide monthly food rations including sorghum, lentils, oil and salt to refugees fleeing Ethiopia’s Tigray region after violence broke out on 4 November.

"I’m also pleased to announce a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of the refugees arriving from Ethiopia that WFP launched last week via the Share the Meal App. This campaign allows individual givers from all around the world to make donations towards this cause at a time when it’s needed most,” Nuru said.

WFP officially launched a ShareTheMeal fundraising campaign last week aiming for individual users of the ShareTheMeal app to share 1,000,000 meals.  In addition to contributions from Japan and the Share the Meal campaign, WFP received €15,000 from Andorra for the refugee response.

WFP rapidly responded to the influx of new refugees from day one, providing food for hot meals and high energy biscuits at reception centres on the border, giving logistical support to the humanitarian community, distributing monthly food rations to refugees in camps, and providing nutrition support to children under five and pregnant or nursing women.

Flexible funding from Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States enabled WFP to divert resources in the amount of US$5.2 million towards the immediate response to refugees right at the start of this emergency.

Despite these generous contributions and efforts, WFP Sudan still requires US$173.8 million in funding for its operations in the first half of this year, of which US$8.6 million is needed to sustain food assistance and nutrition support for refugees arriving from Tigray over the coming four months.

For more information see the link or contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Leni Kinzli, WFP/Sudan, Mob. +249 91 277 1269 Abdulaziz Abdulmomin, Mob. +249 91 216 7055

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Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
Relocation of Ethiopian refugees from Hamdayet_UNHCR
Relocation convoy from Hamdayet, UNHCR/Ali Abdi Ahmed

Refugee influx from Tigray continues

Key figures:

· 62,166 refugees registered (23 March, UNHCR)

· 41,181 refugees relocated from Hamdayet and Abdrafi and Village 8 to Um Raquba (20,572 people) and Tunaydbah (20,609 people) refugee camps

· $146 million needed to respond to the urgent needs of refugees from Tigray up to June 2021. As of 31 January, UNHCR and partners have raised 48 per cent of the appeal for the response to the Tigray situation.

Situation

Since early November, military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, bordering both Sudan and Eritrea, have led to the flight of thousands of civilians to border areas in Sudan (most notably at Hamdayet and Lugdi/Village 8).

To mitigate potential health and security risks, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and partners are working to relocate refugees to camps away from the border. Sudan’s Government Commissioner for Refugees (COR) is conducting preliminary registration at transit centres at the household level, while UNHCR is registering new arrivals in Um Rakuba using its electronic registration and case management system (ProGres v4 reception module) at individual level.

The relocation of refugees to Um Rakuba has been suspended as the camp reached its maximum capacity. While work is ongoing to set up additional communal shelters and tents in Um Rakuba in the extension of land allocated by the government, UNHCR has started relocations to the newly set up site in Tunaydbah.

Response

COVID-19 prevention is streamlined across all activities. Temperature screening is in place at the entry point in Hamdayet for new arrivals. UNHCR is distributing soaps and masks to new arrivals at Hamdayet and Village 8 transit centres. In Hamdayet, UNHCR, SRCS and Sudan Vision conduct awareness sessions on COVID-19 and distribute informative leaflets. COVID-19 prevention measures, including wearing masks, and social distancing, are being observed during the relocation of refugees to Tunaydbah camp. Four positive cases have so far been identified in Um Rakuba camp and are currently in isolation in the camp. 63 close contacts have been identified and quarantined. The State Ministry of Health (SMoH), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and COR are leading the response with support from UNHCR and partners.

Urgent needs

Three months on, UNHCR and partners continue to work to meet the growing needs of an increasing refugee population. Gaps remain in all sectors, from water (incl. water trucking and chlorine tablets), sanitation (incl. latrines, drainage, and waste management) and hygiene (incl. shower rooms and handwashing facilities) to health facilities (incl. general medicine, reproductive health, ambulances, solar power, isolation centres, health staff, medicines, laboratory tests, and medical supplies), food (incl. quality and variety), shelter (incl. durable emergency shelters) and protection response, especially youth protection activities, mental health and psychosocial support and GBV response. Fuel shortages, limited numbers of vehicles and limited road access are also posing a challenge to the relocation of the new arrivals as well as the provision of supplies to the different sites. There is a dire need of energy especially alternative cooking energy.

Overall, communication with communities on promoting COVID-19 prevention measures, isolation centres, and health and hygiene practices have just started and need more support. Four active of COVID-19 cases highlight the urgent need to enhance these structures both for host and refugee community.

Core relief items, shelter, and specialised psychosocial support should also be prioritised for foster families to ensure the children are safely accommodated and receive the care they need. Additional child friendly spaces in Village 8 and Hamdayet are also needed. Furthermore, an increasing number of persons with disabilities have approached the protection desk, requesting services, such as hearing aids, crutches or cash assistance, currently unavailable at any sites.

For more details on response and gaps please visit the UNHCR Sudan refugee situation operational portal.

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Sudan

Situation Report
Sudan — Trends
COVID-19 cases in Sudan

The country continues to face the health and humanitarian consequences of COVID-19

  • First case: 14 March 2020

  • Total cases:  29,542 (as of 20 March 2021)

  • Total deaths: 2,003

  • States affected:  All 18 states

  • Schools: Closed (8,375,193 learners affected).

Situation

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan in mid-March, the Government confirmed that 29,542 people contracted the virus, including 2,003 who died from the disease, as of 20 March 2021. All 18 states have reported cases, with Khartoum, Aj Jazirah, and Gedaref amongst the hardest-hit. Although Khartoum State accounts for most of all reported cases in the country, the majority of all COVID-19-related deaths have been reported from outside the capital. Sudan has seen a significant increase in the number of cases being reported each day up from about 10 cases per day at the start of November to between 200-300 cases a day later in November and early December. By the end of December 2020, the number of average cases per day reduced to about 200. From the second week of January 2021, the average number of daily cases went down to about 100, and from the beginning of February it reduced further below 25 cases, according to the FMoH data. Sudan’s health system was under extreme stress prior to the pandemic and has been further stretched to prevent, contain and treat COVID-19. Approximately 81 per cent of the population do not have access to a functional health centre within two hours of their home and the situation is getting worse, as many clinics are closing during the pandemic. In Khartoum State alone, nearly half of the health centres closed during the pandemic, and Darfur had already closed a quarter of their facilities in 2018 due to lack of funds and staff. Sudan has only 184 beds in intensive care units (ICU) and approximately 160 of them have ventilators, according to WHO. Only four ICU doctors—three in Khartoum and one and Gezira State— are prepared to deal with patients infected with the virus, according to WHO.

Across Sudan, clinics and hospitals lack critical medicines, as they can no longer afford to stock them due to the economic crisis and also due to disruption in the supply chains. The situation makes it extremely challenging for the Government and aid organizations to respond to the pandemic and maintain essential services. Women and children have been especially affected. Maternal health clinics have closed, reproductive health services have been interrupted and over 110,000 children are missing out essential vaccines. Prevention to COVID-19 is also a challenge in Sudan, as 63 per cent of the population do not have access to basic sanitation, 23 per cent do not have access to a hand-washing facility with soap and water and 40 per cent do not have access to basic drinking water services. The risk of transmissions and increased humanitarian needs are especially high amongst the nearly 2 million internally displaced people (IDP) and 1.1 million refugees living in collective sites or host communities across the country and the population living in urban slums.

COVID-19 is having direct and indirect impacts on food access in Sudan, according to the latest food security alert report from FEWS NET. Some families lost their incomes at a time where they also face higher living costs, including due to increasing medical costs related to the pandemic, as well as the ongoing economic crisis. The necessary COVID-19-related containment measures have also indirect negative impacts, limiting many poor households’ physical access to areas where they typically earn income from daily labour.

Before COVID-19, about 9.3 million people were already in need of humanitarian support across Sudan. Years of conflict, recurrent climatic shocks and disease outbreaks continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of many Sudanese. The situation is worsening and now over 9.6 million people are facing severe hunger, in a country with already high malnutrition rates. Because of the fragile economy, more and more people are unable to meet their basic needs, as high inflation continues to erode families’ purchasing power. An average local food basket takes up at least 75 per cent of household income.

Response

  • The Federal Government, the United Nations and humanitarian partners have joined efforts to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan. A COVID-19 Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP), organized around nine pillars, is currently being implemented by UN agencies, NGOs and other partners in support of the Sudanese Government-led response.

  • Aid actors are establishing quarantine or isolation spaces and shelters, providing the country with COVID-19 testing kits and setting up water points and handwashing stations in IDP and refugee camps and in host communities. Over 1,600 health workers and rapid response teams in at least 277 localities across Sudan have been trained, hygiene kits distributed to nearly 500,000 people and protective equipment to attend the needs of 6,000 health centres in the country. Over 25 million people have been reached with campaigns to raise awareness to prevent transmissions and at least 2.8 million people were reached with food assistance in May.

  • The Transitional Government initiated the Family Support Programme, with support of the World Food Programme (WFP), to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19-related restrictions on vulnerable families. The programme will provide 600,000 families—about 3.6 million people, nearly 80 per cent of the population—with US$5 per person per month.

  • An estimated $582 million was pledged by donors for this programme during the Sudan Partnerships Conference that took place in Berlin on 25 June.

  • The UN and its partners launched on 19 July the COVID-19 addendum to the Humanitarian Response plan, a US$283 million appeal to address the most immediate and critical needs of millions of Sudanese people affected by the health and humanitarian consequences of COVID-19.

  • On 22 August, the Government of Turkey sent medical supplies and equipment to Sudan to assist Government response to COVID-19. The supplies included 50 respirators, 50,000 masks and 50,000 face shields, and 100,000 surgical masks.

  • On 16 August, the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent 24 tons of medical and food aid to assist in COVID-19 and floods response. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan in mid-March, the UAE has donated nearly 90 tons of medical supplies and equipment. In addition, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development donated 136 tons of medicines to the National Fund for Medical Supplies in Sudan. On 6 June, the UAE-based Al Maktoum Foundation sent 37 tons of medical supplies including protective clothing, masks, sterilizers, glucose, and other supplies to help Sudan fight COVID-19.

Official sources:

Sudan Federal Ministry of Health

WHO Sudan Twitter

Other sources:

COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, by UNESCO

COVID-19 World Travel Restrictions, by the Emergency Division of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Global COVID-19 Airport Status, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

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