Foreword by the Humanitarian Coordinator
This is a year of transformation for Sudan, offering hope and optimism to millions of people. Their determination, resilience and sacrifice ushered in a new chapter in the country after eight months of protests.
Now, this optimism must be sustained and translated into actions that will support aspirations of the people of Sudan.
The transitional government, formed in September 2019, is pursuing a new social contract with the people, prioritizing peace and economic reform. The 2020 national budget has doubled funding for the health and education sectors and aims to prepare for an eventual lifting of subsidies to further invest in basic social services. However, these reforms will take time and the situation will likely worsen in the short term especially for the most vulnerable.
Across Sudan, about 9.3 million people require humanitarian support in 2020. Because of the fragile economy, more people are unable to meet their basic needs, as high inflation continues to erode households’ purchasing power. An average local food basket takes up at least 75 per cent of household income.
Families cannot afford a nutritious meal - let alone other essential needs such as medical care, water, and education. With fewer resources, people adopt negative coping mechanisms, exposing them to more protection risks—particularly gender-based violence and increasing school dropout and child labour. The economic crisis has overwhelmed already-weak public services, further deepening humanitarian need in the central and eastern parts of Sudan, where humanitarian partners have a limited presence.
At the same time, years of conflict have impacted millions of people. Some 1.9 million people remain displaced and face protection risks and threats even as they attempt to rebuild their livelihoods or return to their homes. Disease outbreaks, malnutrition, food insecurity, and climatic shocks, continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of many Sudanese. Moreover, the country hosts over a million refugees, providing safety and services, with communities sharing their meagre resources.
Alongside ongoing peace negotiations, the government have signaled their commitment to facilitating humanitarian access by allowing humanitarians to deliver assistance to areas that are not under their control.
The humanitarian community are prepared to deliver assistance to those who have not been reached with assistance for years.
It is against this backdrop that humanitarians have developed the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). Through this HRP, partners intend to support 6.1 million of the most vulnerable people, which will require US$1.3 billion. This includes assistance to sustain ongoing programming and concurrently scale up in other geographic areas to prevent more people from slipping into humanitarian need. To complement activities under this HRP and respond to the needs of people not covered by this HRP, efforts to strengthen and expand social protection programming are ongoing.
In 2020 and beyond, the humanitarian community in Sudan will focus on adapting to the rapidly evolving environment to be more accountable to affected people, including through: 1) enhanced evidencebased programming based on reliable and accurate data and information; 2) pave the way for greater efficiency by establishing systems that will allow for activity based costing in 2021; and 3) effective humanitarian response to save more lives with early action and improve preparedness while aligning humanitarian resilience with social protection programmes.
Over nearly two decades, the generosity of the international community has supported a robust humanitarian response and saved lives. In 2019, we reached least 4.4 million people with assistance. This year, more needs to be done, and earlier in the year, to reach the most vulnerable people.
However, humanitarian response alone is not enough to reduce needs, vulnerability and risks; longer-term action is also urgently needed. We are committed to working closely with the Government and the people of Sudan to create a strong foundation for Sudan that realizes the hope and aspirations of the Sudanese people.
Gwi-yeop Son Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.