About 6,000 people in Aja and Boulay in Jebel Marra receive food assistance – the first in a decade
For the first time in a decade, the World Food Programme (WFP) delivered food and nutrition assistance to about 6,000 vulnerable displaced people in Aja and Boulay villages in Central/North Jebel Marra locality of Central Darfur. This came after an exploratory mission by humanitarian agencies which identified major humanitarian needs in the area. Aja is one of the villages in Central/North Jebel Marra locality in Central Darfur visited by humanitarian agencies in November 2019 for the first time in 13 years. An exploratory mission identified major needs for food, nutrition, health and education.
The Aja area is under the control of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AW), with reports of conflict between two factions of the SLA-AW, which often results in civilian displacement and related needs. Local community leaders estimate that about 25,000 people live in the Aja area.
Based on the exploratory mission and discussion amongst humanitarian partners in Central Darfur, the humanitarian partners deployed an Inter-Sector Needs Assessment team to Aja and Boulay. As a result of intense negotiation with SLA/AW, it was agreed to facilitate the participation of technical line ministries staff in the needs assessment teams.
The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) also deployed a team register people residing in the two targeted areas. Needs for emergency humanitarian assistance were identified in almost all sectors and the DTM managed to verify 6,000 people in both locations. The sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and non-food items (NFI) are identifying implementing partners who can deliver emergency shelter and WASH in kind assistance. In addition, the humanitarian team in Zalingei is working with Health, Education and Nutrition sectors to scale up services in these two areas.
The humanitarian team in Central Darfur is working with governmental authorities (both military and civilian components) and with SLA/AW and other factions to enable humanitarian teams in other areas in Jebel Marra. OCHA and partners have set a tentative schedule for exploratory and needs assessment missions to various areas up to May. These missions are expected to access more than 100,000 people to identify their humanitarian needs and subsequently deliver the required emergency humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian teams are racing to complete the planned missions before the rainy season, which starts in parts of Central Darfur in April. The rainy season can prevents teams from accessing these areas for at least three months due to roads blocked by flash floods and other physical impediments such as landslides.