Sudan

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Sudan 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan and Humanitarian Needs Overview published.
  • Thousands of Ethiopians from Benishangul Gumuz region seek asylum in Blue Nile State.
  • IOM releases updated numbers of displaced people in and outside Ag Geneina, West Darfur.
  • Less than half of emergency medicines available, according to the National Medical Supplies Fund.
Sudan Map

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Sudan

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
28,351
total people who contracted COVID-19
1,880
COVID-19-related deaths
61,307
Ethiopian refugees from Tigray (UNHCR)
8.8M
People reached with aid (Jan-Dec 2020)

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Sudan

Situation Report

Funding

$1.6B
Required
$874.4M
Received
54%
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
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
Emergency Response
IOM Ag-Geneina-graph
Number of IDPs by Emergency Event Tracking Data (Source: IOM)

IOM releases updated numbers of displaced people in and outside Ag Geneina, West Darfur

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported in its 7th update on West Darfur that about 120,400 people are sheltering in Ag Geneina, capital of West Darfur State and its surrounding villages. They have been displaced from the Krinding area (61 per cent), Sultan House area (18 per cent) and other villages in the area (21 per cent).

Since the sixth update, there has been a 29 per cent decrease in the displaced people as a result of a verification exercise by Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) field teams. Following the opening of access routes to Ag Geneina town, an inter-agency mission conducted needs assessments in Al Salam and Um Shijeira villages outside Ag Geneina to cover people affected by the recent conflict.  It verified that ­the two villages have the population of 21,000 and 19,000 people respectively. The mission findings indicate that people were displaced/aff­ected by insecurity prior to the recent conflict.  The DTM emergency event tracking was updated accordingly. The mission also noted that about 8,500 people left Muli village to return to their place of origin as the security situation had improved.

The IDPs in Geneina sought shelter in state buildings and schools where they live in overcrowded conditions with inadequate sanitarian mostly due to limited space. The congested IDP gathering points face a high risk of communicable diseases and fire outbreaks. About 90 per cent of IDPs are sheltering in schools and other public buildings, and 10 per cent are living in the open. The humanitarian community calls on the authorities to identify options to decongest the gathering sites in Geneina town. 

Data collected by IOM through the return intention indicator suggests that all IDPs in Ag Geneina town intend to return to the IDP camps they fled upon improvement of the security situation.

For more on DTM reports please see the link

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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
Needs assessment team in Muli village, West Darfur Feb 2021 OCHA

IOM update on displaced people outside Ag Geneina, West Darfur

On 12 February, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported in its latest update on Ag Geneina, capital of West Darfur State, that the estimated number of people displaced in the area since mid-January increased as more information is available from affected villages outside the town. The final number of the displaced people will be available after the humanitarian community verifies all affected people.

The fifth Emergency Event Tracking (EET) by the IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) estimates 149,137 people (30,852 families) have been displaced across Ag Geneina and its surrounding villages. Since the fourth EET, there has been a 37 per cent increase in the number of people displaced, including an additional 20,762 people in Ag Geneina town, 9,050 people in Muli village, 950 people in Shukry village, 550 individuals in Sisi camp and about 9,000 people are in open areas of a new location (Kereneik village).

Given the current situation outside Ag Geneina, DTM teams are continuing to collect data from the surrounding villages of Ag Geneina from key informants via telephone. The DTM teams will visit these areas shortly to verify the data and provide latest figures.

Overall, the total number of people displaced in Darfur over the past month is estimated at 183,000 people, including about 149,000 IDPs in and around Ag Geneina, 11,000 people displaced from Gereida and up to 22,500 displaced from East Jebel Marra, South Darfur and parts of Tawila in North Darfur (IOM DTM reports).

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Sudan

Situation Report
Background
IOM DTM website thumbnail

What you should know about IOM’s DTM Emergency Event Tracking

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan rolled out its Emergency Event Tracking (EET) methodology in January 2020 to collect data on sudden displacement and population movement triggered by conflict or natural disasters across the country.

Activated within 24-72 hours of an event, EET provides humanitarian partners in Sudan with frequently disseminated information and data to support targeted response planning.

The EET methodology utilises DTM’s key informant network to capture best estimates on displacement figures, as well as data on current locations, locations of origin, nationalities, shelter categories, demographics, vulnerabilities, priority needs, losses, and return intentions.

Once activated, EET provides regular updates on the displacement situation to capture trends and changes as they occur. EET serves as an evidence base for response, and systematically updates its data collection indicators to meet the information needs of its users.

For more information on the latest EET products produced, please visit http://dtm.iom.int/sudan.

Additional information regarding all of DTM Sudan’s active methodological components can be found in its 2020-2021 Fact Sheet.

You can subscribe to receive regular updates from DTM Sudan at this link

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Sudan

Situation Report
Trends
FPMA graph, 12 Feb 2021

Crops grown locally in 2020 start reaching markets – FAO Food Prices Monitoring and Analysis

In Sudan, crops harvested in 2020 have started reaching the markets. Despite some seasonal declines, prices of grains were still at near-record highs, according to the latest Food Prices Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Despite the recent marginal declines (compared to December 2020), prices in January 2021 remained exceptionally high – up to three times the already high prices of the previous year. These increases are mainly attributable to the continuous depreciation of the local currency, FPMA Bulletin said.

Prices started increasing in 2017 due to the difficult macro-economic situation, coupled with fuel shortages and the high prices of agricultural inputs inflating production and transportation costs.

In 2020, several other factors contributed to prices increases, including a reduced 2019 cereal production, widespread floods, and the impact of COVID-19 containment measures on markets and trade.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the inflation rate for December 2020 reached almost 270 per cent, compared to 254 per cent in November. January 2021 inflation rate is expected to be released shortly. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says that the high food prices erode the purchasing power of thousands of vulnerable people.

The 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) partners are aiming to provide humanitarian assistance to 8.9 million people across Sudan. Humanitarian organisations need early and flexible HRP 2021 funding to sustain emergency and planned response.

For more information on FAO's FPMA, please see the FPMA webpage

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Sudan

Situation Report
Trends
WFP Local Food Basket Cost (LFB) versus Inflation and Exchange Rate

Local food basket costs increase, as value of Sudanese currency continues to deteriorate

In January 2021, the average cost of local food basket in markets monitored by the World Food Programme (WFP) increased to 123.15 SDG from 121.2 SDG in December 2020, according to the January 201 World Food Programme Market Monitor. WFP’s local food basket consists of food items available in the local markets (locally produced and imported).

The situation is expected to worsen as a result of the further deterioration of the value of the Sudanese currency in the parallel market in January 2021. On average, the Sudanese pound traded at 288 SDG for 1 US$ in January 2021, while in December 2020 it traded at 263 SDG in December 2020. During the first two weeks of February, it traded between 320 and 400 SDG in the parallel market.

The average local food basket cost in 12 states (out of 18) monitored by WFP’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the previous year. These states are Blue Nile, all five states in Darfur, three states in the Kordofan region, Kassala, Red Sean and White Nile. However, there was improvement in the casual labor wage-daily rate, which increased by 17 per cent in January 2021 compared to December 2020. This might improve the purchasing power of population and mitigate the impact of high food prices, which also need to be closely monitored.

In January 2021, the average price of sorghum in Gedaref market was SDG6,813/90Kg sack, which is a decrease of 6 per cent compared to December 2020. However, it is 184 per cent higher compared to the same month of the previous year (January 2020). The total supply of the new harvest (November 2020 – January 2021) of sorghum is estimated at around 141,433 metric tonnes (MT), which is about double of the harvest of 74,000 MT during the previous season. The average production of sorghum in Gedaref state is about 22 per cent of the total sorghum production in Sudan based on the previous 5-year average (source: CFSAM 2019-2020).

For more, please see the WFP January 2021 Market Monitor

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Sudan

Situation Report
Emergency Response
WFP food distribution in Ag Geneina, West Darfur Feb 2021, Regina Bakhteeva/WFP
WFP food distribution in Ag Geneina, West Darfur Feb 2021, Regina Bakhteeva/WFP

Aid agencies scale up assistance to new IDPs in Ag Geneina, West Darfur

As of 4 February, the overall security situation in Ag Geneina remains calm, with protests, sit-ins continuing and supply routes to the town cut off. The main market is closed, and the key roads to the town remain blocked. Fresh food prices have started to increase in Ag Geneina as only a few shops are open.

Aid agencies are scaling up response and all 67,380 IDPs verified by WFP in the 71 IDP gathering points in Ag Geneina received food assistance. Almost 31,000 people – over half of the target – received NFIs. Health services are provided through mobile clinics to at least 17,000 people.

On 2 February, the Deputy Governor lifted the requirement for police escorts to deliver aid in the gathering sites in Ag Geneina.

The estimated number of IDPs in Ag Geneina town and surrounding villages reached 108,800 people, according to IOM’s latest update. Almost 400 people were killed and another 473 injured during the inter-communal clashes, while about 8,400 people lost personal belongings and livestock, IOM reported.

UNHCR Chad estimates that 4,300 people arrived in eastern Chad from West Darfur since 17 January. As of 4 February, about 3,700 of them are undergoing the registration process. IOM reports that 72 per cent of the IDPs in Ag Geneina town intend to return to their previous locations – the Krinding and Sultan House camps – once the security situation allows.

There is a need for strengthened community reconciliation and peace-building efforts.

Almost US$7 million has been allocated for the response in West Darfur. This includes $1.3 million from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund, and $1.1 million from IOM’s Rapid Response Fund (RRF). The Start Fund provided $272,716 to two international NGOs.

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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:

· 61,307 refugees registered (25 February, 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:  28,351 (as of 25 February 2021)

  • Total deaths: 1,880

  • 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 28,351 people contracted the virus, including 1,880 who died from the disease, as of 25 February2021. 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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