Sudan Humanitarian Overview Vol 2, Issue 2: 01 Feb - 01 Mar 2006
- INSECURITY RESTRICTS ACCESS INDARFUR
- CHOLERA-TYPE OUTBREAK IN JUBAANDYEI AREAS
- LRA PRESENCECURTAILS ACTIVITY INEQUATORIA
- WORKPLAN ONLY 16.7%FUNDED- SEE BACKPAGE
Welcome to the second issue of Sudan Humanitarian Overview 2006. Produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in collaboration with other UN agencies and partner NGOs, the SHO aims to provide an overview of humanitarian trends and activities in Sudan, as well as to focus on particular issues of interest. Send comments and contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Significant delays in humanitarian operations due to existing and additional new restrictions on UN and NGOs characterized the situation in this month. This was the case despite the Wali's guarantee to the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, that the Status of Forces Agreement-SOFA-which calls for the free movement of UN personnel with official ID cards, would be honoured. The SOFA agreement is commonly discussed with authorities and all players are aware of its existence but as yet no state level directive has beenmadefor implementation.
During the first week of February, OCHA conducted a two-day assessment of town via helicopter, the first humanitarian assessment in the town following the 11 January clashes. Roughly two-thirds of the local population, mostly women and children, did not have access to basic health services following the suspension of activities of the NGOs Samaritan's Purse and International Rescue Committee. Although Sudan Red Crescent had provided one male doctor, local cultural practices do not allow women to be visited by male physicians. The UNMIS Nepalese contingent rapidly provided a female doctor and nurse who visited Hamesh Korieb by helicopter andwas able to see more than 40 patients in a matter of hours.
A state-wide polio campaign was successfully completed in most of Kassala during the month, aside from the Hamesh Koreib enclave, where there is still no free, overland humanitarian access from within Sudan. Negotiations between the different parties in the enclave are still underway to restart the vaccination campaign as soon as possible.
Despite the increasingly volatile and constantly fluctuating security situation over the past five months in Darfur, humanitarian aidworkers have managed to keep the assistance flowing to populations in need through innovative, albeit costly, alternative means. However, delivery of humanitarian assistance is becoming increasingly challenging: we continue to lose ground in terms of access; the financial outlook is progressively more worrisome; and hopes of a political solution in the near future are dim.
In order to mitigate the loss of humanitarian gains achieved so far in Darfur, joint contingency planning by humanitarian partners is in full swing. Coordinated by OCHA, agency field offices and headquarters are revising programmes to guarantee minimum life-saving activities in the current environment of limited access and limited funding. One focus is how to respond to identified needs and monitor the situation in inaccessible regions aswell as plan for response in newareas of displacement. Another serious concern is the loss ground for protection activities and the positive, although limited, effects of 'protection by presence' are likely to be seriously impacted, as some organizationsworking in protection are forced to pull back
During the past month, harassment and intimidation of IDPs in camps and civilians in villages occurred throughout all the Darfurs, including attacks in Gereida, Mershing, Manawashi and Sheria, provoking new displacements. Up until the end of February, 6,000 to 7,000 people from Sheria moved to locations in North Darfur and into the bush elsewhere. New arrivals to Al Salaam and Zam Zam Camps in El Fasher were reported daily. Sheria IDPs described gross human rights violations, both in their place of origin and en route. Elsewhere, despite the presence of AU protection forces, UN CivPol and government police, 30 armed men attacked a firewood patrol near Kalma Camp when 2,000 to 3,000 people were collecting wood. Armed ambushes continue to plague both commercial and humanitarian vehicles.
Cross border movement was also reported from Chad, possibly building as a result of the conflict which started in Adre in December or in fear of new clashes. An inter-agency mission mid-month to Gellu, northwest of Geneina on the Chadian border, identified more that 10,000 new Chadian refugees, most of whom were women and children. Agencies supplied emergency material, including medicines and NFIs and were responding to improvewater sources.
Of utmost concern in Darfur, accessibility to certain areas fell to alarmingly low levels. The portion of the state around and north of Geneina inWest Darfurwas still under security Phase IV during the month. Only half of the affected populations in the state are accessible to the UN and partners, and reliance on more expensive solutions to deliver humanitarian assistance, such as helicopters, is eating away at already limited resources. The situation is worst in large parts of the Jebel Marra, where there has been no humanitarian presence since the beginning of the year and in the Kulbus/Silea, where there has been no presence since December. An increased number of lootings, intimidation and sexual harassment have been reported. Elsewhere in Jebel Marra, an assessment of Golo found the town completely deserted and the hospital and NGO compounds looted.
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