I. Affected Population - trends and analysis
1. The first three months of 2007 confirmed the trend of wide-spread insecurity that intensified after the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement on 5 May 2006. Between January and March 2007, over 110,000 people have been newly displaced throughout Darfur, some 80,000 in South Darfur alone. These new displacements do not immediately add up to the old caseload of IDPs registered in camps and informal settlements. Many of these new displaced hide in the bush before deciding whether to return to their villages or move on to IDP sites, while others are displaced for the second or third time. In addition, there is the time lapse due to verification before these IDPs are officially registered.
2. The total number of IDPs registered throughout Darfur increased by 43,000 people with respect to the 1 January report, and now stands at just over 2.1 million, a new height. A closer look reveals significant fluctuations (see separate 'Totals' statistics). In West Darfur, the total number of IDPs actually dropped by 7,000, due to significantly lower numbers in Habila and Mukjar localities, offsetting the increases in Geneina, Jebel Marra and Zalingei. In North Darfur, the number of registered IDPs grew by 8,000, with a significant increase in El Fasher locality and reduced or unchanged numbers elsewhere. With 42,000, South Darfur witnessed the highest number of new registered IDPs, in line with the relatively higher degree of violence and forced displacements. Overall, on 1 April 2007, there were 304,000 more IDPs than in the same period last year.
3. The numbers of residents in need of humanitarian assistance has increased by 278,000 with respect to the January report, reflecting seasonal conditions (towards the end of the dry season and the beginning of the 'hunger gap') and long-term effects of the crisis, which have significantly eroded the population's coping mechanisms. On 1 April 2007, there were 2.1 million conflict-affected residents- the highest number ever since hostilities started in 2003, and 244,000 more than in the same period last year.