Sudan: Factsheet 2007

About Sudan

Around 35 million people live in Sudan(1). In 2005 Sudan's income per capita (GNI) was $640 (WDI 2005). From 2000-04, the economy grew at 5-6%, increasing to 8% in 2005(2). The main export from Sudan is oil.

Sudan has only had 11 years of peace since independence in 1956. The Government of President Bashir took power through a military coup in 1989. Elections took place in 2000 in Northern Sudan, when the Government was re-elected by an overwhelming majority. However, opposition political parties boycotted the elections, alleging major irregularities and misconduct. Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005 by warring parties in North and South Sudan, national elections at Presidential, Parliamentary and State Government levels are due over the whole country in 2009.

Due to the conflict, statistics are unreliable, and there are gross disparities between the North and the South. In 2000, it was estimated that 150 children out of 1,000 died before the age of 1 in the South compared to 63 in the North (3). This compares to 6 per 1,000 in the UK.

Enrollment in primary school was estimated to be 60% in the North, but only 20% in the South (Joint Assessment Mission March 2005), compared to 100% in the UK.

Average life expectancy is around 57 years 3, compared to 79 in the UK.

In 2000, only 15% people in South Sudan have access to improved sanitation

About Darfur

Over the past three years, the people of Darfur have witnessed an appalling level of violence. More than 200,000 people have been killed. Over two million are displaced, many living in crowded and vulnerable camps, and a further 235,000 Darfuris have fled to Chad. Through the admirable work of aid agencies, the four million people dependent on aid in Darfur have had access to vital assistance and services. The deterioration of the security situation, however, has made this increasingly difficult to sustain. Attacks on humanitarian workers are having a particularly severe impact on getting help to those most in need.

The UK utterly condemns the continuing violence targeting civilians and humanitarian workers in Darfur and calls on all sides to cease the violence immediately; renew the ceasefire and political process and accept the AU / UN peacekeeping force for Darfur.

About DFID Sudan

The DFID Sudan office opened in Khartoum on 2 April 2006. DFID Sudan leads on taking forward development and humanitarian work in Sudan, working closely with the British Embassy, and it also works in close coordination with the Sudan Unit in London (a joint FCO-DFID Unit) which leads on the political work.

In addition, the Joint Donor Team (JDT) based in Juba, South Sudan opened in May 2006. This is a highly innovative programme of mixed funding and joined up policy making involving the UK, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Canada. The JDT should in time act as a channel for all DFID expenditure (apart from humanitarian) in the South.

DFID's Development Aid Programme in Sudan

In the past five years DFID has provided US$667m in aid to Sudan, out of a total of US$2201m from the international community.

In the coming financial year DFID plans to give about US$230m.

In Darfur, DFID has been the second largest bilateral donor since 2003.

DFID Sudan is developing a Country Assistance Plan for Sudan for the period 2008-2013.

Addressing Poor Governance and Conflict

Poor governance is a cause of poverty. Peace is a pre-condition for good governance. In Darfur, the UK is putting pressure on the parties to stop fighting and working to get an effective peacekeeping operation. We are providing support to the key Commissions for implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), such as the National Civil Service Commission and the National Judiciary Commission as well as working on longer term reform of the police and justice sector. The Africa Conflict Prevention Pool allocation is focused on supporting Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programmes in the North and South, as well as promoting Security Sector Reform.

DFID is working to make the Government of Sudan more capable, accountable and responsive by:

- Capable: DFID is strengthening the police and judiciary to promote the rule of law in the North and the South. (Total of =A35.7m) The Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) provides technical assistance to local government to improve their capability to tackle poverty and deliver services.

- Accountable: DFID is supporting preparations for the elections due in 2008, including strengthening Political Parties. DFID is providing support to strengthen Parliamentary oversight of the budget and other decisions. We are encouraging the Government to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to ensure greater transparency about revenues. This will help civil society and the media hold the Government to account.

- Responsive: Successful CPA implementation will make the Government more responsive to the needs of different regions. We are working to ensure all sectors of society are included in the preparation of the National Strategic Plan and the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Funding through the MDTF will make the Government of Sudan more responsive to the most war-affected areas.

DFID is working to make the Government of Southern Sudan more capable, accountable and responsive by

- Capable: DFID is working to establish effective public financial systems and is providing =A34.6m for capacity building with the GofSS to make the civil service more effective.

- Accountable: We are encouraging the Government of Southern Sudan to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

- Responsive: The Joint Donor Team have been fully involved in supporting budget preparation, with a focus on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable communities.

Humanitarian Aid and Access to Basic Services

In Darfur, UN agencies and NGOs are providing emergency shelter, food aid, health care and access to water to 3.6 million conflict-affected people. This population is highly dependent on relief but increased insecurity in Darfur is preventing humanitarian agencies from operating effectively, leaving hundreds of thousands without access to aid. In other parts of Sudan we continue to meet humanitarian needs as well as building longer term capacity. In South Sudan, DFID is supporting an interim Basic Services Fund aimed at financing major NGOs in service provision until the new regional, state and local governments are capable of taking over. The first phase of this programme is designed to benefit over 900,000 people, providing essential services such as training 300 teachers and 270 health sector staff. HIV and AIDS is comparatively low in Sudan, although the UN is undertaking work to try and establish more reliable data. $7.8m (North) and $8.8m (South) have been provided from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Making Aid Effective

Harmonisation between donors is a high priority for DFID in Sudan. The majority of our support is delivered through pooled funding mechanisms. Two Multi-donor Trust Funds were established to meet priority needs to implement the CPA; one to address national issues, and the other for South Sudan. These are administered by the World Bank and the Government provides $2 for every $1 contributed by donors. Most of our humanitarian funding is spent through the multi-donor Common Humanitarian Fund through which the UN targets funding to the most urgent needs. With other donors, DFID supports UNDP through a Strategic Partnership, focusing on promoting good governance and the rule of law in Sudan.

Working with Civil Society

International NGOs are essential partners in Sudan, particularly in the humanitarian response in Darfur and for delivering basic services in the South. In Darfur, we spend =A319m through NGOs and the majority of the Basic Services Fund in the South is delivered by NGO partners. We are promoting the ability of national and international NGOs, to operate effectively in Sudan.

For more information about DFID's work in Sudan please visit


(1) World Development Index 2005

(2) World Bank Country Brief, August 2005

(3) Joint Assessment Mission, March 2005