Conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and forces loyal to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army–North (SPLA-N) in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states intensified during the first two weeks of November. On November 10, SAF conducted aerial bombardments over Yida town in Unity State, South Sudan, which hosted a refugee population of at least 20,000 people as of October 31, according to the U.N. The White House Office of the Press Secretary released a statement on November 10 condemning the attack on Yida, as well as a separate bombing that occurred near the Sudan–South Sudan border on November 8.
On November 3, SAF gained control of Kurmuk town—a former SPLA-N stronghold—in southern Blue Nile State. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that the majority of people in Kurmuk had fled prior to SAF gaining control of the town. As of November 11, various unconfirmed reports indicated that up to 55,000 people were moving southwards in Blue Nile to South Sudan and Ethiopia due to increased insecurity in southern Blue Nile.
On October 18, a group of high-level U.S. Government officials visited two health care clinics supported by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) in Gereida internally displaced person (IDP) camp in South Darfur State. Representatives from USAID/OFDA partners Merlin and the American Refugee Committee (ARC) briefed the group on primary health care, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in the camp.
In FY 2012, USAID/OFDA and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) are focusing on meeting the immediate needs of conflict-affected individuals in Darfur and the Three Areas of Southern Kordofan State, Blue Nile State, and Abyei Area, as well as supporting community-based, early recovery activities that build the foundation for longer-term growth in Darfur, where security and access permit. In FY 2011, USAID/OFDA provided nearly $101 million in emergency and early recovery assistance across Sudan—including in Darfur, eastern Sudan, and the Three Areas—through agriculture and food security, economic recovery and market systems (ERMS), health, nutrition, protection, shelter, and WASH activities. USAID/OFDA also supported pipelines for the delivery of emergency relief supplies and coordination among humanitarian agencies. In addition, USAID/FFP committed more than $182.3 million in FY 2011 to provide life-saving food assistance to vulnerable and conflict-affected communities in Sudan.