Sudan - Complex Emergency Situation Report #2 (FY 2003)

Note: This Situation Report updates USAID/OFDA Situation Report #1, dated October 11, 2002.


For more than 19 years, the Sudanese population has been negatively impacted by war, famine, and disease, largely associated with the civil war between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and Southern Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). Since 1983, more than two million people have died from war-related events, and more than four million people have been displaced, the largest Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) population in the world. Sudan has experienced three periods of famine over the last 13 years, Bahr el Ghazal in 1988-1989 and 1998, and Upper Nile in 1992-1993.

In response to the 1988-1989 Bahr el Ghazal famine, the United Nations (U.N.) established Operation Lifeline Sudan (U.N./OLS), a tripartite agreement of negotiated access among the GOS, the SPLM, and the U.N. Under this framework, a consortium of U.N. agencies and more than 40 international and indigenous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide emergency relief and rehabilitation assistance in Sudan. In addition, due to frequent and repeated denial of access by the GOS, more than ten international NGOs provide humanitarian assistance outside of the U.N./OLS consortium. Since the civil war began in 1983, the United States Government (USG) has provided more than $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese population.

Since 2001, through President George W. Bush’s appointment of USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios as Special Humanitarian Coordinator and former U.S. Senator John Danforth as Special Envoy for Peace, the USG has been at the forefront of serious and sustained negotiations between the GOS and SPLM to increase humanitarian access to war-affected areas, and to support the peace process. By the end of 2002, this involvement led to a formal cease-fire agreement for the Nuba Mountains, a framework for the cessation of attacks against civilians, the establishment of periods of tranquility, and an international inquiry on slavery in Sudan. In addition, U.S. involvement helped to create a favorable environment for peace talks under the auspices of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that produced the Machakos Protocol signed by both the GOS and SPLM on July 20, 2002 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in Machakos on October 15, 2002, that calls for the cessation of hostilities between the two sides and unimpeded humanitarian access throughout Sudan.

Numbers at a Glance
Complex Emergency-related Deaths (since 1983) Total: More than 2,000,000 U.S. Committee for Refugees
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Total: More than 4,000,000
Greater Khartoum: More than 1,800,000
Transitional Zone and Eastern Sudan: More than 500,000
Garrison Towns: More than 300,000
SPLM/A Controlled Areas: More than 1,400,000
2003 United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan
Sudanese Refugees 442,500 - Total
155,400 - Uganda
84, 200 - Ethiopia
70,000 - Democratic Republic of the Congo
68,200 - Kenya
34,000 - Central African Republic
30,000 - Chad
700 - Eritrea
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Total FY 2003 USAID/OFDA Assistance to Sudan: $17,212,107
Total FY 2003 USAID/FFP Assistance to Sudan: $53,492,240
Total FY 2003 USAID/OTI Assistance to Sudan: $207,302
Total FY 2003 USG Humanitarian Assistance to Sudan: $70,911,649

Current Situation

Humanitarian Access

Historically, access to Southern Blue Nile and eastern Sudan have remained blocked to U.N./OLS humanitarian operations, since these areas were considered outside of the OLS tripartite agreement of negotiated access between the UN, GOS, and SPLM/A. However, the situation has improved following the fifth meeting of the Technical Committee for Humanitarian Assistance (TCHA) from January 18-19, 2003, in Nairobi, Kenya. At the meeting, the U.N., GOS, and SPLM/A agreed that humanitarian access in southern Sudan would now be by notification rather than the previous method of requesting locations and waiting for an approval or denial.

Furthermore, the U.N. signed bilateral agreements with the GOS and the SPLM/A concerning humanitarian access to eastern Sudan and Southern Blue Nile.

Despite the TCHA agreement, humanitarian assessments in eastern Sudan have not occurred due to an intense military environment.

Southern Blue Nile

As a result of the mid-January TCHA meetings in Nairobi, the U.N. has taken an active role in conducting both security and humanitarian needs assessments in SPLM-controlled areas of Southern Blue Nile. The U.N. will assess humanitarian needs in GOS-controlled areas of Southern Blue Nile in February 2003. It is anticipated that U.N. led humanitarian interventions will begin in Southern Blue Nile in March 2003.

In January 2003, USAID funded a three-week livelihood assessment of Southern Blue Nile, with assistance from the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA), the Relief Organization of Fazugli (ROOF), and international NGOs. Preliminary results from the assessment, released on January 31, 2003, indicate that current drought conditions have drastically reduced production levels and food security for both residents and IDPs, primarily in the Maruk, Kurmuk, Keili, Nexila, and Jaman payams (districts). The report also concluded that assistance provided by USAID/OFDA-funded partners has had a positive impact on the immediate humanitarian situation of the population. USAID/OFDA provides assistance to maintain primary health services in five locations of Southern Blue Nile, as well as to distribute both food and non-food commodities to IDPs.

The report also noted that, by March 2003, an increasing influx of IDPs, especially in Keili and Mayak, could stretch existing humanitarian operations beyond their capacity to adequately respond to the situation. The team recommended that significant food aid resources arrive in Southern Blue Nile in February 2003 to ensure that humanitarian operations are able to robustly respond to the needs of the population. In addition, seeds and tools interventions are needed to enable residents and IDPs to plant and cultivate during the rainy season. The U.N. assessment will incorporate the results of the livelihoods report into its overall findings on the humanitarian situation in Southern Blue Nile.

Western Upper Nile

According to USAID and U.N./OLS field reports, the humanitarian situation in western Upper Nile has deteriorated in recent months due to a military offensive by GOS-supported militia that began on December 31, 2003, in violation of the MOU for a cessation of hostilities. To date, the fighting has displaced thousands of people from their homes and exacerbated an already bleak humanitarian situation due to severe water and food shortages. U.N./OLS estimates that more than 95,000 people are highly vulnerable to food insecurity in the region, with more than 20,000 people affected by the recent fighting.

A preliminary report by the independent Civilian Protection Monitoring Team (CPMT), issued on February 11, 2003, confirmed that militia forces supported by the GOS had attacked villages around Mayom, Mankien, Tam, and Leel, western Upper Nile. The CPMT’s mandate is to verify reports of fighting between the two sides in accordance with a March 31, 2002 agreement between the GOS and SPLM, proposed by U.S. Envoy for Peace Danforth, that calls for the protection of non-combatant civilians and civil facilities from military attack.

Despite political agreements between the GOS and SPLM that provided access avenues into western Upper Nile, humanitarian relief agencies have not been able to provide humanitarian support since the fighting began. Furthermore, reports indicate that there is concern among relief organizations that militia are targeting sites immediately after emergency food distributions.

Both WFP and UNICEF, as well as several international and local NGOs, have continued to deliver humanitarian assistance to the western Upper Nile population despite the threats on the ground. As part of U.N./OLS’s rapid humanitarian intervention plan, WFP distributed food to more than 20,000 people in Leal on January 24, 2003 and 20,000 people in Tam on January 27, 2003. In addition, on January 25, 2003, UNICEF provided more than 5,000 IDP households in Leal with relief kits containing essential non-food items.

Eastern Sudan

In November 2002, the GOS’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) led an assessment to government-controlled areas of eastern Sudan. The assessment team concluded that basic needs in water and sanitation, food, shelter, health services, and cooking fuel existed. Subsequent reports from January 2003 indicate that more than 9,000 IDPs have recently settled in areas along the Gash River. WFP, the Sudan Red Crescent Society, and some international NGOs have responded by providing food and health services to the IDP population.

Nuba Mountains

The first ever All Nuba Conference was held in Kauda, an SPLM-controlled area of the Nuba Mountains, from December 2-5, 2002. The conference brought together more than 380 representatives from Nuba civil society to discuss political unity and development in an open and transparent forum. At the end of the conference, the delegates signed the Kauda Declaration, which effectively created a new political party called the United Sudan National Party to find common political ground amongst the Nuba population.

Donor Coordination

On January 9-10, 2003, members of the international community, including 13 donor countries, the United Nations, and the World Bank, met in Oslo, Norway to discuss a common approach to how international assistance can support the peace process. During the meetings, three working groups were established to focus on international assistance to the implementation of the final peace agreement, transition issues, and the structure and coordination of development assistance. The meetings in Oslo were a follow-up to discussions at the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland from November 25-27, 2002.

Peace Talks

Despite a military offensive by GOS-supported militia in western Upper Nile and numerous reports of military build-up in other regions, both the GOS and SPLM delegations to the third round of peace talks in Kenya have continued to discuss a number of issues related to the peaceful settlement of the conflict. Since peace talks resumed on January 22, 2003 the GOS and SPLM have made progress in negotiations on wealth sharing.

The talks hit a rough period when the SPLM walked out of the room in protest of the GOS’s military aggression in western Upper Nile. However, the two sides agreed on February 4, 2003 to return to their military positions as of October 15, 2002, when the MOU for a cessation of hostilities was signed. Furthermore, on February 5, 2003 the two parties amended the MOU to permit uninhibited access to Verification and Monitoring Teams (VMT) to areas where a violation has been filed by any of the parties.

USG Humanitarian Assistance

USAID/OFDA’s priorities in FY 2003 include continuing programs in the sectors of health, nutrition, livestock, and food security; as well as new initiatives linked directly to the peace process including improving humanitarian access to populations in need, preparing the South for peace, and expanding programs that cross GOS-SPLM front lines to reinforce local reconciliation.

USAID is in the process of conducting strategy consultations in preparation of an Integrated Strategic Plan for FY 2003 through FY 2005 for Sudan, which is expected to be approved in May 2003. The USAID Strategic Plan for Sudan defines the priority objectives to be achieved with a combination of humanitarian assistance and development assistance.

In FY 2003, USAID’s Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI) began responding to the humanitarian situation in Sudan. USAID/OTI plans to link ongoing southern Sudanese peace-building efforts to initiatives that promote good governance practices that increase the participation of southern Sudanese in their governing structures. USAID/OTI is focusing on supporting an independent southern Sudan media, fostering demand for good governance, and providing rapid, flexible conflict resolution mechanisms and tangible peace dividends.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) provide additional USG humanitarian assistance to Sudan.

USAID’s Africa Bureau manages the development portion of the Sudan Integrated Strategic Plan in opposition-held areas of the country. USAID development funding in FY 2002 totaled more than $14.2 million, including nearly $11.3 million in development assistance, $2.5 million in Economic Support Funds, and $500,000 in Child Survival and Health Funds. At this time, USDA, State/PRM, and USAID’s Africa Bureau have yet to obligate FY 2003 funds specifically earmarked for Sudan. State/PRM has committed more than $30 million to UNHCR for Africa-wide refugee assistance.

On October 1, 2002, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Jeff Millington renewed the disaster declaration for FY 2003 for Sudan. The US Mission in Sudan has declared disasters due to the complex emergency since 1987.

U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance to Sudan
Implementing Partner
FY 2003 (to date)
Southern Sector Programs
AAH/USA Nutrition Surveillance
ARC Primary Health, Water/Sanitation Eastern Equatoria
CARE Agriculture, Primary Health, Food Security Jonglei
CONCERN Food Security Southern Sudan
CRS Primary Health, Food Security Southern Sudan
IRC Primary Health, Livestock, Agriculture Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile
MEDAIR Food Security, Relief Upper Nile
NPA Food Security, Peace Committee Southern Sudan
SCF/UK Food Security, Relief Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile
Samaritan’s Purse Food Aid Sudan
SCF/US Primary Health South Kordofan
VSF/G Animal Health Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria
UNFAO Livestock, Coordination Southern Sudan
UNICEF Multi-Sectoral Southern Sudan
Northern Sector Programs
ACF Primary Health Bahr el Jebel, Bahr el Ghazal
ADRA Primary Health, Water/Sanitation White Nile
GOAL Primary Health Upper Nile, Kassala
SCF/US Primary Health South Kordofan
IRC Primary Health, Wat/San Upper Nile
UNFAO Livestock, Coordination Northern Sudan
Administrative Support
USAID/Khartoum Technical Assistance Sudan
USAID/ARO Technical Assistance Sudan
WFP 60,180 MT of Title II emergency food assistance Sudan
Christian Aid Governance Activities Southern Sudan
EDC Independent Media Southern Sudan
USAID Administrative/Travel Southern Sudan
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance in FY 2003 (to date)

1 USAID/OFDA funding indicates committed and/or obligated amounts as of February 12, 2003.

Bernd McConnell
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance

*USAID/OFDA bulletins can be obtained from the USAID web site at