Description of the disaster
Heavy rainfall which commenced in late July 2020, intensified during the months of August and September. This intensification came at a time when the Blue Nile river from Ethiopia had swollen and burst its banks. The combination of the rains and swollen river caused flooding, destruction of infrastructure, health facilities, houses, both private and public buildings, agricultural lands and affected close to 900,000 people in 18 states across the country. The torrential rain and resulting flooding was the worst flooding seen in the country in 30 years.
The most affected states include; Khartoum, North Darfur, West Darfur, Al Gezira, Sennar, Blue Nile and Red Sea. The worst affected states account for the majority of all people affected. Of the displaced families, many have been hosted by family and neighbors or moved to temporary camps, some formal with services and other spontaneous near their residences. According to UNOCHA, some 560 schools and thousands of health facilities have also been affected, compromising essential services to communities.
Recurrent hazards such as the Floods experienced in 2020 put additional stress on the already challenging humanitarian context of the country.
The health situation in Sudan has continued to deteriorate as a result of the flooding, especially due to stagnant and contaminated water. The damage to health clinics, hospitals and latrines raises further risks for disease outbreaks on already weakened health systems. Within the affected states, malaria, diarrhea and skin infection are common causes of mortality among children and malaria is a common cause of illness among adults. In many of the flooded locations, there is very limited access to clean water. The water supply from boreholes have been affected by overflow of the river and latrines have been destroyed, increasing the risk of water contamination and outbreak of waterborne diseases due to lack of latrines (resulting in open defecation) and contamination of water by faecal matter from flooded latrines. In 2020, Sudan was confronted with Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs) and a polio outbreak, in addition to the annual cycles of outbreak of cholera, malaria, denguie and chikingunza which are endemic. Sudan continues to face health and socio-economic consequences of COVID-19. As of March 9th, a total of 30,540 people have tested positive to COVID, and 1915 people have died from the disease. The COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate is among the highest in the world.
Overall needs in Sudan have continued to grow due to the severe economic crisis, with soaring inflation impacting the most vulnerable, increasing humanitarian needs, and presenting a real challenge to aid agencies. On Sunday February 21, the Government of Sudan (GoS) announced a flotation of its currency SDG in an expected step to meet a major demand by international financial institutions to help the transitional authorities overhaul the economic crisis experienced by the country. The impact of this measure is yet to be experienced.
The 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan predicts that the number of people in need in 2021 will be the highest from over the past decade, driven by the economic crisis, exacerbated by COVID-19, protracted internal displacement and the unprecedented flooding in 2020 and disease outbreaks. These combining factors have led to a decreased ability of households to meet and access basic needs and services. At least 1.3 million people face emergency levels of acute food insecurity and 5.8 million people are facing crisis level of acute food insecurity. The decline in the economy has severely affected all provision of basic services, including health services, with only 15% of essential drugs available in the country.