Immediate priorities are to strengthen state-level coordination mechanisms.
The COVID-19 Working Group was activated with UN agencies designating staff for each pillar of the response. In May, UN partners updated the Corona Virus - COVID-19 Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP) developed to support the Government of Sudan and national preparedness for COVID-19. The plan, which requires USD$87 million to implement, focuses on public health measures. The plan will be updated monthly or if the situation changes. The Federal Emergency Operation Centre has been activated with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and is meeting daily.
At state level, WHO will take the lead where they have presence, and in states with limited WHO presence another partner organization will take the lead. National pillar focal points will work closely with state focal points, providing the necessary technical guidance. In the states where there is an Area Humanitarian Country Team (A/HCT) or an established humanitarian coordination structure, COVID-19 focal points will work under these mechanisms. The aim is to work through existing coordination mechanisms to the best extent possible.
The Refugee Consultation Forum (RCF), led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Sudan's Commissioner for Refugees (COR), is coordinating the response effort for refugees. The RCF has revised a COVID-19 prevention and response plan with different scenarios in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in a refugee camp or settlement. Under the leadership of the Refugee Working Groups refugee partners contributed to the local development plans in each state. UNHCR and COR have adopted preventive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases during the registration of refugees. This includes physical distancing, reduction of intake capacity to reduce overcrowding, hygiene measures such as washing hands, etc.
A COVID-19 IDP Camp Coordination Task Force was established for the specific purpose of COVID-19 prevention, preparedness and response in IDP camps and camp like settings. It is co-led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR and reports to the COVID-19 Working Group. It will build upon the work of the Area/Humanitarian Country Team (A/HCT). At the state level, inter-agency coordination responsibility has been divided as follows: IOM (West Darfur, Central Darfur, South Kordofan), and UNHCR (North Darfur, South Darfur, East Darfur, as well as Blue Nile in cooperation with an NGO partner tbc). To ensure a harmonized and predictable approach to COVID-19, the Task Force will use camp coordination and camp management principles to coordinate the COVID-19 prevention, preparedness and response across pillars and sectors in camps and settlements and the Interim Guidance on Scaling-up COVID-19 Outbreak in Readiness and Response Operations in Camps and Camp-like Settings. Initial coordination efforts have focused on camp-lead agencies and completing a survey on current gaps within the IDP camps.
There are no state level focal points identified in El Gezira, Northern and Sennar states. Most of the information is shared in the form of reports, but it does not include aggregated data. This hampers timely analysis and relevant interventions.