Humanitarian needs in Sudan are considerable and remain important in scope. Despite years of assistance humanitarian needs are acute and in some cases are expanding. These are predominantly caused by conflict which, in turn, drives displacement and food insecurity.
In the worst affected areas – Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile – violence is forcing people to abandon their homes and livelihoods, subsequently undermining the production and supply of food. This disruption of livelihood activities has resulted in acute and multiple humanitarian needs.
The priority of the humanitarian community remains to ensure that newly displaced people receive the immediate life-saving assistance and humanitarian protection so crucial to their survival.
Likewise, significant needs remain for large numbers of people displaced for many years. While some returns are taking place many IDPs still live in camps and settlements for a variety of reasons, including insecurity and service levels.
After more than a decade of short-term relief aid, humanitarian partners are working to develop more sustainable and cost-effective humanitarian interventions that put the interests of affected communities at the heart of their work.
Despite ongoing peace efforts, 2014 has seen significant new displacement and, as a result, an increase in the humanitarian needs. In Darfur, conflict has led to a further 430,000 displacements. The last two years have seen the highest numbers of displacement since 2006. Humanitarian partners are also affected by criminality in the region, affecting their capacity to operate.
In some areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, the ongoing violence has resulted in 86,000 new displacements. Following four years during which there has been no agreement to conduct regular needs assessments and response planning in areas where the SPLM-N is present, the humanitarian situation there is of concern.
Instability around Sudan’s borders is adding to the overall humanitarian burden, with thousands seeking asylum and refuge in Sudan. Following the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, there has been a constant flow of South Sudanese into Sudan. Some 195,000 South Sudanese are expected to have arrived by the end of 2015.
Against a regional backdrop of internal conflict there has been a continuing flow of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants (both economic and stranded) from neighbouring countries. These people also require a combination of life-saving support and longer term assistance.
Humanitarian needs in Sudan are not limited to conflict-affected areas. Food insecurity and malnutrition are a humanitarian concern, with 59 out of the 184 localities in Sudan experiencing global acute malnutrition rates at or above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent, only three of which, Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref, are not conflictaffected.
While conflict increases food insecurity and malnutrition, there are also distinct underlying causes, including feeding habits, child care, sanitation and access to health services.
The humanitarian needs in Sudan are also exacerbated by environmental factors, which further drive displacement and food insecurity. In particular, Sudan has recently experienced unpredictable rainfall patterns which affect the harvest and food supply. While 2015 should see an above average harvest due to higher rains, the 2013-14 level was 68 per cent below the five-year average.
In other areas, annual rainfall causes flash-flooding, resulting in temporary displacement and the destruction of homes and livelihoods. Rapid urbanization and lack of adequate drainage is leaving hundreds of thousands of people exposed to this risk. This underlines the humanitarian consequences of what is in essence a development issue. The most fragile segments of the population, especially in rural areas, are vulnerable to external chocks.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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