Sudan - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 5

Situation Report
Originally published
1. This is a summary overview of the involvement of agencies in the international response to the floods since OCHA launched a consolidated appeal on 24 September 1998. Information and data were provided by participating agencies and put together by OCHA's Humanitarian Coordination Unit in Khartoum.

General Situation

2. In August and September 1998 floods and heavy rains occurred in 18 of Sudan's 26 States. The combined results of heavy rains in Ethiopia and southern Sudan resulted in the highest river levels along parts of the Nile and tributaries since records began. Flooding affected about one million people, of whom well over 100,000 were displaced. It resulted in a dramatic increase in the incidence of malaria, diarrhoea and other water-related diseases, primarily because of flooded latrines, polluted wells, destroyed water systems and the presence of stagnant water. Production in the irrigated agricultural sector was seriously reduced, up to 20 % of the country's date palm trees were destroyed and there were large losses of livestock from disease and drowning.

3. In early November 1998 a multi-agency assessment team was established to examine the long-term effects of the floods and formulate a framework for action aimed at rehabilitation and self-reliance. This team consisted of the UN agencies and the Government of Sudan, supported by the Bretton Woods Institutions, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Islamic and African Development Banks. The preliminary cost of the recovery programme was estimated to be US$ 230 million.

Assessment of states

4. A number of international and national organisations undertook activities in the worst-affected States, particularly targeting displaced families and communities. Much of the initial emergency response was carried out by national authorities and the Sudanese Red Crescent, supported by the ICRC and IFRC, and UN agencies. Examples of some of these activities are outlined below:

Northern and River Nile State

5. Floods in the area displaced over 7,000 persons. Toward the end of the year the emergency situation began to stabilise and communities began to plant winter crops. Prior to cultivation, WFP delivered 169.2 MT of sorghum to the two flood-affected locations to cover the assessed needs for two months full ration (which represented some 70% of total food needs). El Golld Rural Council, together with Popular Committees, distributed 76.8 MT of WFP sorghum to 10,667 beneficiaries and WFP, SRC and IFRC distributed 92.4 MTs of WFP sorghum to 3,601 beneficiaries and 2,242 displaced persons in Agro. UNICEF, in conjunction with State health authorities, carried out long-term projects aimed at improving water and sanitation and health inputs.

White Nile State

6. Some 8,985 people were affected by floods and lost all their property. This area, as in the north, has become stable as there was a relatively good harvest and communities have been able to plant. During the food gap period WFP delivered 129.45 MT of sorghum, 16.27 MT of pulses and 4.03 MT of vegetable oil to the flood-affected locations to cover the assessed needs for a one month full ration (representing 60% of the total food provided by NGOs). UNICEF also undertook large-scale water and sanitation projects in the area, and programmes aimed at improving community health and hygiene.

7. Interventions by agency

UNICEF: Provided essential drugs to Northern, River Nile, White Nile, Gedaref, Gezira and Khartoum States. It provided materials for community programmes in the White Nile, Gedaref, Sennar, Northern and River Nile States. It also provided environmental sanitation materials to River Nile, White Nile, Gedaref, Kassala and Northern States. Some US$ 210,000 emergency funds were used on essential drugs, US$ 500,000 on environmental sanitation and US$ 5,000 for community awareness programmes.

UNHCR: Donated medicines to the Health Ministries of Gedaref and Kassala States. UNHCR also provided technical assistance to the pumping station in Gedaref town. It donated 20 tents worth US$ 4,000 to As Showak Local Council.

OCHA: Donated $50,000 towards sprayers and insecticides which were utilised by UNICEF, and State Ministry malaria committees in North, River Nile and White Nile States.

WFP: In December 1998, a Memorandum of Understanding between WFP and the Government of Sudan was signed to provide emergency assistance to flood-affected populations in seven Northern States. Approximately 113,000 beneficiaries were targeted to receive food assistance during a three-month period. 1,100 MT out of 4,577 MT of food will be made available as an incentive to rehabilitate severely damaged schools in Northern and River Nile States. The Ministry of Education will be the implementing agency for the rehabilitation of 272 classrooms and will ensure that all non-food materials are provided.

WHO: Has given US$ 50,000 in addition to US$ 10,000 released for the Ministry of Health, making a total of US$ 60,000 to provide emergency health kits. WHO in coordination with the IMF, World Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the African and Islamic Development Banks formulated a framework for emergency and rehabilitation phase interventions in flood-affected areas. This resulted in the donation of US$ 500,000 from the African Development Bank to be utilised under WHO execution. WHO has procured supplies and equipment totalling US$ 238,918. WHO also assisted in securing a donation from the Italian Government of US$ 15,000 and basic health emergency kits for River Nile State, Dongola and Kassala.

UNFPA: Has given US$ 40,000 for the rehabilitation of the Primary Health Care Units in the flood-affected areas of the Red Sea State. It has also given the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) an amount of US$ 50,000 for essential drugs.

FAO: Approved a US$ 400,000 project for the procurement of seeds for staple foods, cash and fodder crops. The FAO programme also included small irrigation sets (diesel driven engines and pumps) and spare parts. These inputs were focused on farmer communities. FAO also succeeded in securing an additional US$ 128,000 from the Swedish Government to procure additional seeds in the affected States.

UNDP: Has secured an amount of US$ 100,000 from TRAC 1.1.3 (Funds for Countries in Special Development Situations) to assist UN agencies and national institutions with the coordination of response activities.

UN Agencies /Bretton Woods Institutions/Arab/African and Islamic Development Banks and Government of Sudan

8. As a result of the framework established by the above Government and Intergovernmental agencies during November 1998, the Government of Sudan has received some bi-lateral assistance to support resource mobilisation and rehabilitation of flood-affected areas. In particular, the Saudi Fund donated 100 million Saudi Riyals (approx. US$ 26.6 million), a third of which is earmarked for flood recovery programmes; the Islamic Development Bank donated US$ 8 million, a third of which is for flood recovery and the Japanese Government has provided US$ 330,000 for UN Volunteers to assist UN agencies.

9. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

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