EU-IGAD Covid-19 Response Programme Launches in Gedarif, Sudan

The new action will increase access to health, water and sanitation services and improve the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Doka town, Um Rakouba village and Um Rakouba Refugee Camps.

The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme launched a new action today in Gedarif, Sudan to support the host communities and refugees in the area through increased essential health, water and sanitation services. The programme will rehabilitate and expand two hospitals in Doka to ensure greater access to health services for all, improve access to water in Um Rakouba village and Doka town, and improve sanitation services in Um Rakouba Refugee Camp. This action will contribute to the overall COVID-19 response in the area.

The action is being launched by the European Union, UNOPS, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It was marked by the State Government’s official endorsement today at the Office of the State Governor. This work is part of the European Union efforts to mitigate the health and socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the programme in 7 countries across the IGAD region - Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The programme focuses on critical cross border areas in these countries and aims to enhance IGAD’s coordination capacity, increase access to health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, combat gender-based violence, improve community engagement, ensure borders are safe for trade and promote digital health solutions. The programme particularly supports vulnerable groups, including migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and cross-border communities.

The EU funded programme is managed by UNOPS and implemented by IGAD, IOM, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The digital health component is managed by GIZ. Overall in Sudan, the EU also supports the WHO’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, which addresses the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also contributes to a sustainable strengthening of the health system and longer-term health security. The EU is also a major contributor to the international “Covax” Initiative that delivered 828.000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Sudan in March.

Speaking about the programme, the European Union stated: “Through this multilateral programme, the European Union helps countries in the IGAD region tackle the health and socioeconomic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. This response has been launched in the early stages of the pandemic to support vulnerable groups and frontline workers to ensure that no one is left behind. We are pleased to continue this multi-sectoral work through the new action in Sudan.”

Rossella Monti, Senior Project Manager, UNOPS Programme Management Unit - EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response stated: “We are committed to strengthening the health and socioeconomic system in the IGAD region to protect vulnerable communities and frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This new action in Sudan marks the continuation of UNOPS’ work in the region and will bring essential health, water and sanitation services to the people of Doka town, Um Rakouba village and Um Rakouba Refugee Camp. We are proud to work in partnership with the EU, IGAD, IOM, UNICEF and GIZ and support this programme through effective planning and efficient programme management."

Speaking at the event, Dr. Osman Bilail, IGAD Head of Mission in Sudan, IGAD Secretariat stated: “We put our hands together to contribute to preserving humanity and improve access to safe drinking water for the refugees and the host population. The hospital renovation helps to improve the population access to improved health care for the refugees and host population equitably.”

Speaking at the event, Munier Gaafar Mohammad, Country Manager, UNOPS Sudan said: “The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme is a unique integrated response across the IGAD region. In Sudan, we are happy to see the expansion of the programme to rehabilitate hospitals in Doka through the installation of an isolation center and laboratory. This will enhance the access of the host communities and refugees to improve health services in their area."

Catherine Northing, IOM Sudan Chief of Mission said about the programme: “We want to ensure no one is left behind in our response, irrespective of nationality, migration status, ethnicity, and or religion. Together with our partners, we will support the most vulnerable by increasing access to critical health, water, sanitation and hygiene services, while building capacity of partners”

Dr. Suleiman Ali, Governor of Gedarif State, expressed his support for the programme: Speaking at the event, Dr. Suleiman Ali expressed his thanks and appreciation to the partners and stated that the implementation of this action would begin after the arrival of supplies.

Press contact details:

Dr. Osman Bilail, IGAD Head of Mission in Sudan, IGAD Secretariat