ACT/Caritas Appeal Darfur – 2017 Programme SDN171, EA 01/2017
The 2017 Darfur Programme (DP) Appeal marks the 14th anniversary of the joint Caritas Internationalis (CI) and ACT Alliance (ACT) collaboration which commenced in 2004. NCA provides the legal basis for the operation in Darfur as well as taking the lead responsibility for management, procurement and financial management on behalf of the two networks. The operational entity has to be referred to in its totality as the NCA DP.
As has been mentioned in previous Appeals, the DP has been able to engage with and respond to the protracted humanitarian crisis that has continued to engulf the country. It has been about 13 years since families have had to leave their homes, their livelihoods and their land. To date, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has, in the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) estimated that the ongoing conflict has left around 2 million Darfuri IDPs in need of humanitarian assistance and support. This does not include the impacts stemming from the conflict which broke out in the Jebel Marra (JM) region, in January 2016 which has displaced an additional 82,000 people throughout Darfur (OCHA Humanitarian Snapshot, September 2016).
Recent years have taught aid agencies working in Darfur that the protracted/forgotten nature of this conflict has, in fact, led to a steep decrease in donor spending to the region. While it is understood that after a decade of efforts to alleviate the vulnerabilities in the region donors might feel disenchanted, it is crucial that the needs in Darfur are once again brought to the spotlight. Thus, the 2017 Appeal will continue its concerted efforts from 2016 and endeavor to support a budget in line with the revised 2016 Appeal budget. As is already known, the DP underwent some restructuring throughout 2015 and 2016 in order to stay in line with a decreased budget.
The Sudanization process continues to be underway throughout the country. While no sign has been made that this government level strategy will come into full force in the year ahead, the DP continues to forge ahead; engagement and support - at all stakeholder levels - will continue, status quo, into 2017 should Sudanization become a clear reality.
What has become clear; however, is that 2017 looks to be that of a ‘transitional year’ meaning that plans by the Government of Sudan (GoS) seem to be suggesting that Darfur’s newly declared peace means that IDPs no longer have a need for such a title: ‘IDP’. Thus, while it is still unclear what lies ahead, this shift in title and push in seeing to it that IDPs either return to their homes or converge with local communities will be a challenge which the NCA DP may have to face in the year ahead.
Thus, it goes without saying that there will be a distinctive set of needs should 2017 unfold in such a way. In line with NCAs revised country strategy and the context of Sudan (particularly Darfur), the DP will be making a solid effort to support its target communities through building ownership of NCA projects to ensure sustainability and long-term support. This will be done through an integrated and holistic approach; looking to all sectors of the DP to work and support one another instead of in sectoral silos. Examples of proven effectiveness can be seen through the efforts of the Ta’adoud project which NCA is an integral part of.