- Nearly 99 percent of the 3.8 million people who voted in the January 9 to 15 referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan voted for independence, according to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission. On February 7, the Government of Sudan (GoS) accepted the results by presidential decree. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), Southern Sudan will become independent on July 9, 2011.
- Thousands of individuals continue to return by road, rail, barge, and plane from northern Sudan to Southern Sudan and the Three Areas of Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei Area. As of February 8, relief agencies had reported the return of nearly 256,000 people since October 30, 2010. Many returnees have chosen to remain in urban and peri-urban areas due to increased availability of services, among other reasons. The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and the international humanitarian community are working to identify and meet the reintegration needs of returnees.
- Since the beginning of 2011, USAID/OFDA staff members have conducted more than 15 visits to returnee sites in Abyei Area, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Upper Nile, and Central Equatoria states, among others, to assess the returnee situation and monitor USAID/OFDA programs.
- Between January 25 and February 8, USAID/OFDA staff visited seven departure sites where returnees are gathering in the greater Khartoum area and observed no immediate, unmet humanitarian needs. As of February 17, humanitarian agencies reported that approximately 22,000 individuals had registered to return south; however, only a small number of individuals remained physically present at the departure sites to guard personal belongings.
- In recent weeks, increased fighting between the GoS and armed opposition groups displaced approximately 43,000 individuals throughout Darfur, according to African Union-U.N. Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID). U.N. representatives have appealed to all parties involved in the conflict to cease fighting and allow humanitarian agencies access to affected areas. USAID/OFDA is closely monitoring the situation and remains in contact with partners regarding humanitarian needs resulting from increased fighting; however, ongoing insecurity has limited access to conflict-affected individuals.
- USAID/OFDA continues to fund programs that address the needs of conflict-affected communities and help build the foundation for recovery and reintegration. To date in FY 2011, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $36 million through 17 grantees to address the humanitarian needs of individuals through emergency response, return, recovery, and reintegration interventions in Southern Sudan, northern Sudan, the Three Areas, and Darfur. In FY 2010, USAID/OFDA provided nearly $93 million in humanitarian assistance in Sudan; the majority of these programs remain ongoing in FY 2011. USAID/OFDA supports agriculture, health, food security, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, and economic recovery and markets systems, targeting approximately 4.2 million beneficiaries country-wide in FY 2011