CHANGES IN CONTEXT
IMPACT OF ECONOMIC CRISIS
In April 2019, following months of civil protest, President Al Bashir was removed from power after 30 years. A transitional government was formed in August with a 39-month mandate that will lead to elections.
The transitional government has prioritized peace and ending the economic crisis: priorities that are closely linked with the drivers of humanitarian needs in the country. The number of people who need humanitarian assistance across Sudan increased from about 8 million people to 9.3 million towards the end of 2019. Needs are largely driven by a deepening economic crisis, and while prevalent across the country, they are rapidly worsening in states not affected by conflict, in the east of the country (Red Sea, Gedaref, Kassala, and Gezira), as well as in urban centres (including Khartoum). Meanwhile, the situation of some 1.87 million Sudanese displaced by conflict remains unresolved, and their needs persist.
The high inflation rate - recorded at 60.7 per cent in November 2019 - and rising prices for food, fuel, and other basic commodities, continue to stretch people’s ability to cope. This is most notable in terms of worsening food insecurity. Despite the ‘good harvest’, it could not counteract the impacts of rising prices. As a result, at least 17.7 million people, representing 42 per cent of the population, suffer from some level of food insecurity, and 6.2 million people need food and livelihoods - related humanitarian assistance..
According to the Sudan Metrological Authority (SMA), rainfall in Sudan has been persistently above average throughout most of the 2019 season, and the season continued into October past its normal end in September. Heavy rainfall and flash floods affected more than 426,000 people—almost twice the number of people affected by floods last year— across 17 states and the Abyei Area, according to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and partners. HAC also reported 49,535 homes have been destroyed and 35,725 damaged. The most affected states were White Nile State (147,240) people affected, Kassala (40,435), Khartoum (32,060), West Kordofan (28,215) and North Darfur (22,740). Overflowing riverbanks had significant effect Khartoum, Gezira,
Sennar and White Nile states.
DETERIORATING HEALTH SYSTEM
Health care, sanitation, protection, and education services are affected throughout the country. Inflation has resulted in increase in cost of medicines by 50-100 per cent while at the same time there has been a 35 per cent decrease in medicines imported in comparison to 2018.
In 2019, Sudan experienced concurrent outbreaks of water and vectorborne diseases, including cholera, dengue fever, Rift Valley Fever, chikungunya and malaria. These outbreaks coupled with low investment in basic services in Sudan (e.g. poor WASH, vector control and health infrastructure) resulted in excessive demand on the provision of healthcare in an otherwise already strained health system.
PROTECTIONS RISK AND INCREASED VIOLENCE IN DARFUR
Increased protection risks and violence reported especially in Darfur.
Many IDPs face harassment when trying to farm, which contributes to food insecurity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), tribal conflict is a contributing factor to the 13 per cent reduction in area planted/prepared for planting as of July 2019. Access denial to farmlands was reported in West Darfur (Kerenik, Jebel Moon and Habila) and less in North Darfur (Kutum, Kebkabyia and Tawila). In West Darfur, farmers were denied access to their farmlands in the three localities either through the imposition of unaffordable fees or through harassment and violence. These factors contributed to the outbreak of inter - communal violence in El Geneina beginning in late 2019 when over 41,000 people were displaced and sought refuge in El Geneina town. As the African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) reduces its presence in Darfur in 2020 - protection is one of the key areas, which will require close monitoring.
HUMANITARIAN ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS
Since the inception of the Transitional Government, the humanitarian access environment has continued to see improvements, particularly on the internal movement of aid workers; the Government reduced travel restrictions and committed to allowing humanitarian access across Sudan. In October 2019, the requirement for travel permits to access conflict-affected areas such as South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Jebel Marra in Darfur was lifted. This is a positive development and partners have noted the progress made thus far specifically faster approvals of travel notifications. As a result of improving access, aid agencies were able to reach and provide assistance to vulnerable people in parts of Jebel Marra not under the control of the government. In addition, engagement with both factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile resulted in several high-profile missions, including the visit by the global head of World Food Programme (WFP), to those areas and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.