Since January 2014, a new wave of insecurity and violence across Darfur has generated enormous additional humanitarian needs. Fighting, tensions and insecurity involved Government forces supported by the Rapid Support Forces, a Government-affiliated militia, as well as armed movements and armed tribal militia. Hostilities and violence have spread across much of North and South Darfur, with spillover effects to West, Central and East Darfur. Since the beginning of 2014, the cumulative number of people who have been displaced stands at 321,929. This includes both the number of people who are still displaced as of today and those who have returned to their areas of origin. The number is in addition to some 2 million people in Darfur who have been facing long-term displacement since 2003-2005, having fled their homes during the height of the conflict.
As of 25 May 2014, the net number of people who remain displaced in Darfur by recent violence stands at 203,197. Meanwhile, 118,732 people have returned to their areas of origin. The returns have been mainly taking place in relation to the Saraf Omra and Eastern North Darfur crises, with IDPs returning to Saraf Omra (66,473 people) and El Lait and El Taweisha localities (52,259 people). In addition, unverified “quick returns” have been reported around El Sireaf locality and in the rural areas of El Fasher. In May, some 7,600 people have returned to Um Gunya, Hijer and other villages in Bielel locality from Saniya Deleiba and various camps around Nyala. While some returned permanently, others returned to cultivate their land. These returns are yet to be verified.
During the early stages of these crises, aid agencies were unable to access many affected areas due to violence and insecurity, as well as denials of access by the authorities.
Access for humanitarian partners to assess the needs of the affected and displaced and deliver humanitarian assistance has improved significantly during the months of March and April 2014. As of 25 May, aid agencies have access to 179,662 people out of the 203,197. In the past couple of months, humanitarians have been able to reach most of the affected areas, excluding Hashaba North, Kutum locality, the eastern Jebel Mara region in North Darfur, and Adila and Abu Karinka in East Darfur. However, even though humanitarian access has opened up, the situation does remain fluid due to both the high mobility of armed forces and opposition groups and a significant increase in criminality.
Some 264,158 newly displaced people have been reached with varying degrees of humanitarian assistance. The assistance provided can be in just one sector or in a combination of sectors. Therefore, the needs of the displaced people are not comprehensively met. Significantly limited space for protection activities, constrained operating conditions, lack of funding and implementation capacity remain key concerns of the aid community.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.