Sudan

Situation Report

Highlights

  • UNHCR and COR have registered over 57,000 Ethiopian refugees, relocation of refugees to new site Tunaydbah starts.
  • About US$40 million has been pledged to UNHCR for the regional response to refugees from Tigray - 37 per cent of the requirements in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
  • Despite the ongoing harvest, sorghum and millet prices atypically increased between October and December across most main production and consumption markets - FEWS NET.
  • In urban centres, poor families are likely to have below-average food access through May 2021 due to the extremely high food prices limiting household purchasing power – FEWS NET.
  • Humanitarians assisted 8.8 million people across Sudan between January and September 2020 - HRP Quarter 3 Monitoring Report.
Sudan Map

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Sudan

Situation Report

Key Figures

7.1M
severely food-insecure people
6.1M
people targeted for assistance in 2020
1.1M
refugees
2.55M
internally displaced people
25,730
total people who contracted COVID-19
1,576
COVID-19-related deaths
58,044
Ethiopian refugees from Tigray (UNHCR)
8.8M
People reached with aid (Jan-Sep 2020)

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Situation Report

Funding

$1.6B
Required
$869.7M
Received
53%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Paola Emerson

Head of Office for OCHA Sudan

James Steel

Head, Communications and Information Management

Alimbek Tashtankulov

Head of Reporting

Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
Ethiopian refugees arrive in Hamdayet,Kassala November 2020
Ethiopian-refugees-arrive-in-Hamdayet_Kassala_WFP-Leni-Kinzli_17Nov20

New site starts receiving Ethiopian refugees from Tigray

Key figures:

· 56,625 refugees registered (8 January, UNHCR)

· 23,177 refugees relocated from Hamdayet and Abdrafi and Village 8 to Um Raquba and Tunaydbah refugee camps

· $157 million needed to respond to the urgent needs of up to 115,000 refugees and 22,000 host communities in Sudan and Djibouti up to June 2021. So far, $40 million has been pledged

Situation

Since 9 November, Ethiopian asylum seekers have been arriving in eastern Sudan, fleeing a military escalation in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. Refugees are arriving in three locations along the border with Ethiopia in eastern Sudan, Hamdayet in Kassala State, Ludgi and Abderafi in Gedaref State and to a lesser extent into Wad Al Mahi locality in Blue Nile State. Refugees arrive exhausted from their long trek, with few belongings and need assistance.

The Government of Sudan has kept its borders open to the refugee and hosting communities are supporting and sharing their resources with the new refugee arrivals. UNHCR and the Government’s Commission for Refugees (COR) are taking the lead on preparedness and response.

Response

UNHCR continues to register new refugee arrivals at the Sudanese-Ethiopian border. Some 800 people crossed from Ethiopia’s Tigray region into eastern Sudan in just the first few days of the new year. Since early November, more than 56,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled to neighbouring Sudan.

Latest arrivals tell of being caught in the conflict and being victims of various armed groups, facing perilous situations including looting of their houses, forceful recruitment of men and boys, sexual violence against women and girls.

Refugees are arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs, fatigued and in weak conditions after sometimes days of travel. More than 30 per cent of them are estimated to be under 18 and 5 per cent over 60 years old.

In support of the government-led response in Sudan, UNHCR and Sudan’s Commission for Refugees (COR) continue to relocate the refugees from the arrival locations at the border to the designated refugee camps, further inland in Sudan’s Gedaref State.

With the Um Rakuba refugee camp approaching its full capacity, UNHCR and its partners are striving to swiftly relocate refugees from reception sites at the border to a second, newly opened refugee camp, Tunaydbah, in order to keep refugees safe and offer them better living conditions.

The new site is located some 136km from Gedaref town. As of 6 January, 2,605 refugees were relocated to Tunaydbah camp, according to the latest Ethiopia Situation - Daily New Arrivals Update from UNHCR Sudan. Hamdayet and Village 8 reception sites are overcrowded, and their close location to the border putting the safety and security of refugees increasingly at risk.

Upon arrival to Tunaydbah, hot meals are being provided and 1,000 tents, aimed at sheltering up to 5,000 people, have so far been set up by partners. More tents are being pitched as the relocation is set to progress in the coming days and weeks.

UNHCR, COR, and partners are scaling up their response to meet the needs of the increasing refugee population in all locations. Currently, more than 20 humanitarian partners are on the ground in Um Rakuba and another six are starting their activities in Tunaydbah to assist and engage the refugee and host community with shelter, health, food and nutrition services.

Once more, the Government of Sudan is generously keeping its border open to refugees, but additional support is needed to complement the authorities’ response. In particular, it is critical to further improve water and sanitation conditions in the refugee camps and reception areas, as well as to ramp up COVID-19 prevention measures, including isolation facilities. Additional funding is also required to sustain shelter projects and improve the living conditions of refugees in the camps, especially in anticipation of the next rainy season expected to start in May.

On 22 December, UNHCR and partners launched the Regional Refugee Preparedness and Response Plan for the Ethiopia Situation (Tigray). The plan covers the period from November 2020 through to June 2021 and foresees to reach up to 115,000 refugees and 22,000 host communities in Sudan and Djibouti. As at the end of 2020, US$40 million has been pledged to UNHCR for the regional response to the emergency in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, which covers only 37 per cent of the financial requirements in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. 

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

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Situation Report
Forecast
Retail sorghum prices in Gedaref market - FEWS NET/FAMIS

Sorghum and millet prices atypically continue to increase despite harvest

Despite the ongoing harvest, in November and December, the retail prices of sorghum and millet have atypically increased across most main production and consumption markets, the FEWS NET reported in its December 2020 Sudan Food Security Outlook Update. In most markets, prices have reported a 10-20 per cent monthly increase between October through December.

Across main markets, sorghum sold on average for 82 SDG/kg in December 2020 compared to 70 and 72 SDG/kg for October and November, respectively. According to the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS), the exchange rate for 1 US$ is 55 SDG, while the rate in the parallel market is 262 SDG.

Current sorghum and millet prices remained on average 240-300 per cent higher than respective 2019 prices and seven times above the five-year average. This unseasonal increase in sorghum and millet prices is impacted by the rapid depreciation of the Sudanese Pound and extremely high production and transportation costs, delays in the harvest, a lower than anticipated harvest, and limited carryover stock at the market and household level. Higher than typical cereal demand during the harvest period is keeping market supplies low as big traders seek to build their stocks in anticipation of high prices in the lean season and increased demand by humanitarian actors providing support to Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan.

Projected Outlook through May 2021

The latest projection update from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) on food security in Sudan estimated that 7.1 million people (16 per cent of the population) faced acute food insecurity in October-December 2020.

Meanwhile, the ongoing main agricultural season harvest is improving household food access from own production and in-kind payments from agricultural labour, according to FEWS NET. Food security outcomes for many areas will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcome will likely persist among IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan, IDPs and conflict-affected families in Jebel Marra in Darfur and newly arrived refugees in eastern Sudan through February 2021.

However, emergency food assistance needs are expected to remain above typical levels through the harvest period due to the continued influx of refugees from Ethiopia, protracted displacement in Darfur and South Kordofan, and the economic impact of COVID-19, along with the persistent macro-economic crisis.

In urban centers, poor households are likely to have below-average food access through May 2021 due to the extremely high food prices limiting household purchasing power. Together with the second wave of COVID-19, the continued macroeconomics crisis will continue reducing household access to income-earning opportunities. Poor urban households will likely continue facing difficulty meeting their basic food needs, driving an increase in the number of households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes.

If further COVID-19 containment measures are imposed, the number of urban poor households facing Crisis (IPC phases 3) outcomes are expected to increase, particularly with the beginning of the lean season in April/May 2021, FEWS NET said.

For more information and detail, please see the FEWS NET update at this link

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Situation Report
Emergency Response
Humanitarian assistance distribution in El Fasher, North Darfur

Record number of people – 8.8 million – receive humanitarian assistance in January-September 2020

Despite challenges related to COVID-19 containment measures, low funding, access to fuel and cash, humanitarian agencies reached 8.8 million people across Sudan with some form of humanitarian assistance between January and September 2020. This is the highest number of people assisted in Sudan since 2011.

This includes about 7 million people that were reached with food and livelihood assistance during January-September 2020, according to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), Quarter 3 Periodic Monitoring Report (PMR) results. About 3.3 million people were reached with health care services, and 2.9 million people were provided with access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. Education sector partners have assisted 1.1 million children with education and learning activities.

The 8.8 million people assisted is equivalent to 95 per cent of the 9.3 million that were estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2020 – the highest ever percentage recorded.

While the percentage of people reached versus in need varies from 113 per cent (food security and livelihoods) to 35 per cent (WASH), in some other sectors only between 2-9 per cent of the those in need were reached, mainly due to lack of funding and other challenges.

Almost 5 million people received assistance in Darfur – 56 per cent of the total. This includes about 650,000 people in the Jebel Marra who received some form of humanitarian assistance during the reporting period – one of the highest in the past years.

In central Sudan, HRP partners provided assistance to about 3.4 million people – 38 per cent of the total. And in the east, only 384,000 people were reached – 4 per cent of the total assisted. This means that only 27 per cent of the people in need in eastern Sudan received humanitarian assistance.

Overall, HRP partners have ramped up response in the traditional area of operation where they historically have presence and capacity – Darfur – where the number of people reached with assistance exceeded the number of people in need by 28 per cent (almost 5 million assisted versus 3.9 million in need).

Against this backdrop, eastern and central Sudan accounted for more than half of the 9.3 million people in need. However, while 3.8 million people in those two regions were reached with humanitarian assistance, about 2.7 million people in need did not get the assistance they needed, according to the Q3 monitoring data. This was due to more people assisted than initially estimated to be in need in some states, lack of funding, lack of implementing partners and other factors. As of 5 January 2021, the 2020 Sudan HRP is 53 per cent funded, according to the Financial Tracking Services (FTS).

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Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan 2020 Q3 Dashboard (1 January - 30 September 2020)

Sudan HRP 2020 Q3 Dashboard (1 January - 30 September 2020)

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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:  25,730 (as of 31 December 2020)

  • Total deaths: 1,576

  • 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 25,730 people contracted the virus, including 1,576 who died from the disease, as of 31 December. 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. Recently, 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. 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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Visual

SUDAN: COVID-19 Situation Overview & Response (20 December 2020)

SUDAN COVID-19 Situation Overview 20Dec20

For a PDF version click here

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Sudan

Situation Report
Analysis
Community members in White Nile distributing COVID posters and sanitation products at a local hospital UNDP
Community members in White Nile distributing COVID-19 posters and sanitation supplies at a local hospital (UNDP Sudan)

COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave hits twice faster and has major socio-economic impact on families

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits Sudan twice as fast, with about the same number of cases and deaths reported in almost half the time of the first wave, according to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) data. Since 16 October, FMoH reported that 5,528 people had contracted COVID-19, including 458 people who died from it. During the first wave, 5,500 cases and 456 deaths were registered in about three months.

During the first two weeks of October, the average daily number of cases reported was less than 10 but increased to over 100 cases every day after mid-November and reached 200-300 cases daily in late November and early December.

While the number of new corona virus cases and deaths is increasing, health experts believe that the figures might be underreported. FMoH reports that more than 83 per cent of the samples collected for COVID-19 testing over the past weeks were from travellers seeking health certificates to travel abroad, and the rest from the general public.

Meanwhile, about 93 per cent of the 254 health workers in Khartoum State who were tested for COVID-19 were found positive, according to the FMoH. Overall, across Sudan three-quarters of the 800 health staff who took a COVID-19 test, tested positive.

Khartoum State accounts for 75 per cent of all COVID-19 reported cases, but only for 34 per cent of the reported COVID-19 deaths. It should be noted that most of the testing being carried out is of people who are travelling, usually from Khartoum. This means that there could be many more cases outside of Khartoum State that are not being tested or reported.

As of 20 December, 23,316 people were confirmed with COVID-19, including 1,468 people who died of COVID-19, according to the FMoH.

While the corona virus continues to infect thousands and kill hundreds of people, the pandemic is affecting millions more people across Sudan. On 1 December, the World Bank (WB) and the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of Sudan presented the findings of the Sudan High Frequency Survey on COVID-19, implemented jointly by CBS and WB. The objective of the survey is to monitor COVID-19 and its socioeconomic impact on Sudanese households. The panel survey involves multiple rounds, with the first two rounds carried out from 16 June to 5 July and from 13 August to 3 October – and targeted 4,032 households from all 18 states of Sudan using phone interviews.

The survey found that COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on food consumption, mainly due to price increase. More than 20 per cent of the households interviewed were unable to buy bread and cereals as well as milk and dairy products. About 45 per cent of households reported being worried about having enough food to eat, and many modified their eating habits. The findings of the survey echo with the IPC estimate of 9.6 million (21 per cent of the population) acutely food insecure people in June-August 2020.

About 25 per cent of the respondents required medical assistance but were unable to access it due to the unavailability of medical personnel and movement limitations. In addition, 27 per cent of households could not access medicine due to unavailability of drugs of medicines being out of stock, high prices of medicines or pharmacies being closed.

The latest figures on medicine imports by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) indicate that while the imports of drugs during January-September 2020 increased by about 14 per cent compared to the same period of 2019, the level of imports is still 25 per cent lower compared to the same period of 2017, the pre-crisis year.

Moreover, only 10 per cent of households with children who attended school before the outbreak of COVID-19 were engaged in learning activities during school closures due to COVID-19.

About 67 per cent of the respondents who worked before the COVID-19 lockdown still had not returned to work by June/July 2020. Among the employees who stopped working, 29 per cent received their full salary, while 43 per cent received part of their salary and 28 per cent received no payment.

There have also been substantial income losses. For Sudanese households that normally receives remittances 25 per cent reported a decline in international remittances and 32 per cent saw reductions in their domestic remittances. Only 3 per cent of households reported receiving social assistance of any kind.

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Situation Report
Analysis
Farmers inspecting early wheat growth UNDP Sudan-Ala Eldin Abdalla Mohamed
Farmers inspecting early wheat growth (UNDP Sudan/Ala Eldin Abdalla Mohamed)

High food prices drive atypically high food insecurity

The price of locally produced staple foods in Sudan continued to increase atypically in November despite the harvest season which normally would lead to a decline in food prices. Sorghum and millet prices increased by 5-10 per cent, and the price of locally produced wheat increased by 10-20 per cent across most markets. These price increases were driven by high production and transportation costs and the continued depreciation of the Sudanese pound. Cereal prices remained 250-300 per cent higher than prices last year and 550-680 per cent higher than the five-year average, according to the latest update from FEWS NET.

The three main staple foods in Sudan are sorghum, wheat, and millet. Overall, Sudan produces a surplus of sorghum, is self-sufficient in millet, but does not produce its wheat requirement. Sorghum is the staple food for most poor households in central and eastern Sudan regions, while millet is the main staple food for most households in Darfur and some parts of Kordofan regions in western Sudan. Wheat is a staple food for northern states (for more details, please see the November 2020 Sudan Price Bulletin).

The latest projection update from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) platform depicts that October is the beginning of the earlier harvest in Sudan — and the period when food security stabilizes or begins to improve compared to the lean season — but that this year food insecurity remains widespread across parts of the country. This is mainly due to the prevailing poor macroeconomic conditions in the country. There has been an extreme increase in prices of all food and non-food commodities. Prices have more than doubled compared to the previous year and have increased by more than 500 per cent compared to the five-year average.

A rapid deterioration of the local currency in the parallel market has also been recorded. As of 3 December, the Sudanese pound was trading at 268 for US$1. In addition to this, the agriculture season witnessed high costs of agricultural inputs and labour, resulting in high production costs, thus lower production. The situation has been further exacerbated by the flooding situation from August to September 2020, that resulted in widespread destruction of cropland across most parts of the country.

IPC’s updated projection estimates that that 7.1 million people (16 per cent of the population) will face acute food insecurity in December 2020. This is an increase of about 700,000 people compared to an earlier estimate of 6.4 million food insecure people between October and December 2020.

Meanwhile, the preliminary findings of the mid-season assessment for the 2020/2021 agricultural season by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food Security Technical Secretariat projects an average harvest. However, the high cost of production and transportation, together with the continuous macroeconomic changes, will contribute to drive above average prices. This will continue to reduce purchasing power and limit poor households’ access to food. Most of these households will likely continue using different coping strategies, including reducing their number of meals or consuming food of less quality. Food prices are expected to slightly decline with the beginning of the harvest in November and December, but they will remain higher than last year and five-year averages. Sorghum and millet prices will remain 207 per cent and 228 per cent higher respectively, compared to the same period last year, and 500 per cent above the five-year average throughout the projection period. At the same time, the government decision of lifting fuel subsidies — which has already led to an increase in transportation costs — is expected to increase the cost of harvesting/threshing, which in turn will increase the prices of harvested goods.

There are also food security concerns in areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. At least 43 per cent of people in SPLM-N areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states were acutely food insecure during August-October (IPC Phases 3 and 4) as a result of high food prices and poor agricultural production, according to the Food Security Monitoring Unit (FSMU). The FSMU is an independent international NGO monitoring food security levels through a network of local monitors, in SPLM-N areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The price of sorghum, a staple food, remains well above the norm for this time of year and, due to the relatively poor agricultural performance, is likely to remain high until January 2021.

Against this drop back, humanitarian agencies have provided 7 million people with food and livelihood assistance between January to September 2020, according to the preliminary results of the Periodic Monitoring of the Sudan 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan.

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Feature
Hamid-Nagmos,-50-years-old,-holds-his-grandchild-as-a-health-worker-takes-his-MUAC Abu-Dahan-village Kassala UNICEF
Hamid Nagmos, 50 years old, holds his grandchild as a health worker takes his mid-upper arm circumference measure (UNICEF Sudan, Abu Dahan village - Kassala State)

UNICEF provides nutrition assistance to thousands of malnourished children in Kassala State

For decades eastern Sudan’s Kassala State has faced a nutrition crisis, with stunting rates affecting 44 per cent of children under-five years. Malnutrition is largely caused by the lack of a varied diet and essential nutrients, shortage of clean drinking water, poor sanitation conditions, high disease prevalence, increased food costs, and poverty. Inadequate feeding practices and the lack of a varied diet are among the key determinants of stunting in Kassala, where only 16.3 per cent of children are receiving the minimum acceptable diet.

With the support of the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF), UNICEF—in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health—have been working to treat and prevent malnutrition in Kassala State. Nutrition interventions include treating severely malnourished children; providing micronutrient supplements; providing counselling on good infant and young child feeding and care practices; and the importance of observing vaccination programs. To reduce excess morbidity and mortality among children under-five years caused by common childhood diseases (diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory tract infections, malaria, and vaccines preventable diseases), UNICEF will continue to provide quality, life-saving health and nutrition services to over 197,500 children under-five years in the state. UNICEF will also support 60,000 children suffering from severe acute malnourished (SAM) with therapeutic food and care through the out-patient treatment programme (OTP). In addition, 150,000 pregnant and nursing mothers will be provided with infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counselling.

The CERF Secretariat allocated $100 million to partners in Sudan at the beginning of this year to support emergency and early recovery interventions. The projects will be implemented for 12 to 18 months. Ordinarily, projects funded under the CERF are usually implemented in under 12 months. This UNICEF nutrition project is part of the CERF allocation, providing thousands of children with the life-saving nutrition assistance they need to be able to live healthy and productive lives.

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Feature
WFP Nutrition Center 01 Khartoum AbdulazizAlmomin
Nahla and her mother at the nutrition centre in Khartoum (WFP, Abdulaziz Almomin)

CERF support helps restore baby Nahla’s health

Fathiya Omer is a mother of six children, all under the age of 16. From birth, her youngest child, Nahla, who is one year old, has had serious health problems. Little Nahla was under weight and was not growing as expected. Her energy levels were so low that she could barely move any part of her body.

“I almost gave up hope and thought that I was going to lose her,” Fathiya remembers. “I was desperate to bring her back to health.“

She tried many types of therapies including consulting traditional healers for Nahla. All her efforts were in vain and she saw no improvement in the health of her youngest child. She was losing hope as her daughter’s health got worse by the day.

Receiving news of a health centre in the Mandela-Mayo neighbourhood in Khartoum where the World Food Programme (WFP) is providing nutrition support was a turning point for Nahla.

“When I heard that WFP is providing nutritious food to children under five years and pregnant and breastfeeding women, I felt hopeful. I immediately visited the centre to see if Nahla could be helped,” says Fathiya.

After two months of receiving nutrition treatment through ready-to-use-supplementary food, Nahla’s health significantly improved. She now weighs 6.9kgs, a vast improvement from the 5kgs she weighed before joining the programme. “Two months ago, she was unable to move any part of her body as she was too weak. Now she is a different person as you can see. She moves, smiles and tries to jump out of my arms. The recovery is amazing,” added Fathiya.

In June 2020, the World Food Programme (WFP) launched its first nutrition treatment programme in Khartoum State for children under five years and pregnant, and breastfeeding women, with the support of funding from the Central Emergency Fund (CERF). In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, WHO and the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF), the WFP programme targets over 38,000 women and children every month. With the CERF grant, WFP is supporting 31 nutrition centres in Khartoum where malnourished children, and pregnant and nursing women are receiving assistance. Once schools reopen, WFP plans to start school feeding projects in targeted areas, which are expected to help reduce the number of out-of-school children, especially girls from economically and socially vulnerable families.

Thanks to the US $30 million funding from the CERF, WFP is able to help children like Nahla regain their health and ensure that they can have a healthy life and bright future. This funding is part of the $100 million allocated by the CERF secretariat this year to support partners in Sudan in emergency and early recovery interventions in the beginning of this year.

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WFP/Leni Kinzli, North Kordofan, Sudan, 11 October 2020
A farmer in North Kordofan (WFP/Leni Kinzli, 11 October 2020)

WFP to boost the resilience of vulnerable food insecure families in Sudan

The World Food Programme (WFP) will boost the resilience of chronically food-insecure families in Sudan by reducing post-harvest losses by training smallholder farmers and supporting social protection programmes. France has provided €500,000 (US$591,000) to WFP for this programme, which will help more than 41,000 people in South Kordofan State.

“Building resilience in Sudan is a long-term process that requires the sustained commitment of all actors,” said Dr. Hameed Nuru, WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director. “The support from the Government of France will enable WFP to transform the lives of tens of thousands of food-insecure people to become resilient communities.” “The funding comes at a critical time when we need to invest in durable solutions to reduce food insecurity in Sudan,” he added.

Sudan’s inflation rate is the highest it has been in 25 years and the price of the local food basket is 210 per cent higher than one year ago. Economic instability and hikes in food prices threaten to increase food insecurity which is already at an all-time high with 9.6 million people estimated to be food insecure during the lean season. This contribution from France enables WFP to help reduce post-harvest losses, strengthen productive safety nets and ultimately address the root causes of food insecurity in Sudan.

“Just a year ago, I personally saw the benefits of using hermetic bags to reduce post-harvest losses. It was near Kosti in White Nile State, where France financed the first programme of this kind with WFP,” said French Ambassador Emmanuelle Blatmann.

“The village women in particular expressed their satisfaction to me. It is a great pride for my country and I to contribute to such innovative operations. Between 2019 and 2020, France’s programmed food assistance allocated nearly €1.3 million ($1.54 million) to WFP. This strategic partnership has made it possible to support nearly 386,000 people in Sudan,” she said.

Post-harvest losses significantly impact the food security of smallholder farmers in Sudan, who lose up to a third of crops because of improper drying and poor storage practices. WFP promotes the use of hermetic storage techniques that help farmers retain a greater percentage of their crop yields.

Productive safety nets create income opportunities for families during the lean season, while supporting communities constructing critical infrastructures such as water sources, schools and health centres.

WFP activities dealing with post-harvest losses and productive safety net increase people’s resilience to shocks, a key element to paving the path for longer-term stability and prosperity in Sudan.

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