According the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for Sudan, there are 13.3 million people in need, the highest number in a decade and a 44 percent increase compared to 2020. This increase is due to a complex interplay of multiple factors, including conflict, recurring floods, and economic crisis. Heavy rains and flash floods affected more than 314,000 people as of 29 September 2021, destroying or damaging more than 60,000 houses, with West Darfur and South Darfur being among the most affected states. This further compounded the outstanding damage from the 2020 floods, which affected 900,000 people and destroyed 94,000 homes.
Sudan is also affected by a sustained economic crisis, which is driving broad-reaching food insecurity. 9.8 million people are severely food insecure, and cereal prices remain exceptionally high as a result of COVID-19 containment measures, removal of fuel subsidies and the liberalization of the exchange rate policy. Conflict is also driving insecurity and displacement. On 25 October 2021, the military seized power, violating the power-sharing agreement that had been reached with civilian representatives in September 2019 and thus bringing renewed political and security instability to the country. Local conflict also affects the local population, especially in Darfur. Despite the 2020 peace agreements signed in Juba, violence has continued to erupt throughout 2021, with reports of regular inter-communal conflict throughout the region – affecting in particular West Darfur.
These shocks are in turn causing a sharp increase in internal displacement – as of 27 September 2021, 3.03 million people were internally displaced, compared to the 2.5 million reported in the HNO in December 2020. One of the most affected regions is West Darfur, where sudden mass population movements driven by conflict are common. Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, has hosted approximately 170,000 persons experience protracted displacement, who had resident in three IDP camps on the periphery of Geneina. Frequent, localized conflict between Arab and African ethnic groups in the region have regurally triggered frequent temporary displacement from Geneina’s three camps. However, more intense conflict between these groups from January and April 2021 triggered ongoing displacement of virtually the entire population IDP population, who relocated to more secures areas of Geneina and its peripheral villages. In July 2021, a joint IOM-UNHCR verification exercise reported that more than 105,000 individuals were seeking shelter in approximately 100 ‘gathering sites’ within the town of Geneina and its surrounding villages.8 It is commonly understood that the majority of the 65,000 remaining IDPs are currently seeking refuge in host community areas of Geneina, living in micro-sites of 1-5 households camped in host community compounds. However, to date, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the location or scale of these sites, or their needs, access to services or who is providing what aid where, leaving humanitarian responders unable to provided coordinated aid delivery to a significant vulnerable population within Geneian.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in host community locations have a wide range of rapidly shifting needs, however a lack of clear overview and existing coordination gaps are hindering the humanitarian response. REACH therefore proposes a suite of activities aimed at providing support NRC Site Management and other Site Management actors in identifying displacement sites and their priority needs, and to provide information management, assessment, and analysis support to strengthen partner’s coordination in Ag Geneina and in West Darfur. This will in turn enable humanitarian actors to better plan the response and deliver better, needs-based assistance to IDPs in West Darfur.
IMPACT, through REACH, will provide Information Management and Assessment and Analysis support to SM implementing partner in West Darfur, NRC, as well as directly to the Site Management Sector Working Group through two phases of activities. The first phase of this activity is a rapid profiling and needs assessments of IDPs in host community areas of Geneina. It will improve the understanding of the current scale, locations and conditions of displaced populations, and inform ongoing humanitarian interventions in the target area. The second phase of activities is still to be determined, but will likely consist of a coordinated assessment of needs in IDP gathering sites.