· According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and forces loyal to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North (SPLM–N) in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states has affected approximately 1.2 million people. OCHA estimates that the entire affected population includes 366,000 internally displaced or otherwise severely affected individuals who urgently require relief assistance. As of late January, insecurity and Government of Sudan (GoS)-imposed restrictions continued to severely limit humanitarian access to populations in need.
· The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) recently predicted that poor agricultural production and persistently high food prices would contribute to deteriorating food security conditions in Sudan during the first months of 2012, with the food-insecure population expanding from 3.2 million to 4.2 million people between December and March.
· Coinciding with a recent rise in clashes between the SAF and armed opposition groups, the U.N. has reported a sharp increase in GoS-imposed movement restrictions on African Union–U.N. Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID) forces. Denials of access are severely impeding UNAMID’s ability to implement its peacekeeping mandate and resupply team sites in affected areas, according to the U.N.
· USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) recently committed more than $4 million in FY 2012 funding for the delivery of health, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assistance in Darfur. In addition, to date in FY 2012, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) has committed approximately $66.5 million in emergency food assistance for conflict-affected or otherwise vulnerable populations in Sudan. Newly committed FY 2012 funding supplements the more than $283.2 million in total USAID humanitarian assistance provided to Sudan in FY 2011. Ongoing FY 2011 programs address the immediate needs of conflict-affected populations in Darfur and in accessible locations in the Three Areas—Southern Kordofan State, Blue Nile State, and Abyei Area—while promoting early recovery in areas of Darfur where access and security conditions permit.