The Rapid Response Fund Allocates Over $200,000 to Prevent and Treat Acute Watery Diarrhea in North Darfur

With funding support from the Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), and managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Rapid Response Fund (RRF) has allocated a new grant of $208,560 USD to Plan International to provide Emergency Health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) assistance to over 200,000 vulnerable displaced persons in Zamzam and Tawilla IDP camps in North Darfur State to cover needs and gaps created by the increase in cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD).

In recent months, Sudan has faced an increase in AWD, both in terms of number of cases and duration of the outbreak. As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its Week 47, Sudan Acute Watery Diarrhea Update released in November 2017, the AWD outbreak in Sudan started in August 2016 in Kassala and Blue Nile States, and gradually spread to all 18 states of the country in 2017. Since the start of the outbreak, 36,346 cases and 817 deaths were reported according to WHO in November 2017. The current AWD outbreak that has hit the Darfur region was intensified by the start of the rainy season and torrential floods in June 2017.

The new grant, which was approved in November 2017, aims to decrease AWD morbidity and mortality through early detection and treatment of cases in an integrated Health and WASH response to the outbreak in Zamzam and Tawilla IDP Camps. This will be done by establishing and rehabilitating 350 emergency shared latrines, increasing access to equitable safe drinking water by chlorination of 43 existing water sources, training of community health promoters on AWD surveillance, as well as conducting health education sessions on AWD prevention.

Project activities began in November in Zamzam and Tawilla IDP camps, with nearly 30 emergency latrines established or rehabilitated in the first week of implementation. By the end of the project in March 2018, it is anticipated that at least 215,000 individuals in the target areas will directly benefit from the project’s AWD prevention and control measures.

Managed by IOM, the Rapid Response Fund (RRF), USAID/OFDA’s unique funding mechanism, is designed to quickly respond to the critical needs of displaced persons and returnees in Sudan. Plan International has been implementing Health and WASH programs in Sudan, and more specifically North Darfur State since 2003.