Changes in Context
HRP revision after COVID-19
In July 2020, HRP was revised to reflect the changes brought about by the COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, including increased needs and required response. The HRP COVID-19 Addendum revised the number of people in need to 9.8 million as well as the number of people targeted to 6.7 million.
Impact of economic crisis
The high inflation rate – recorded at almost 270 per cent in December 2020 - and rising prices for food, fuel, and other basic commodities, continued to stretch people’s ability to cope. This is most notable in terms of worsening food insecurity: despite a ‘good harvest’, it could not counteract the impacts of rising prices. As a result, about 25.5 million people, representing more than half of the population, were suffering from some level of food insecurity between June and September 2020 – the peak of the lean season. This included 7.4 million people in need of food and livelihoods-related humanitarian assistance, 1 million more than the same period of 2019. From October 2020, this number reduced slightly to 7.1 million people, but still remained high compared to previous years.
According to the Sudan Metrological Authority (SMA), rainfall in Sudan was above average throughout most of the 2020 flooding season, and the season continued into October past its normal end in September. Heavy rainfall and flash floods affected more than 875,000 people—almost twice the number of people affected by floods the previous year—across 18 states and the Abyei Area, according to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and partners.
The unprecedented floods that caused havoc during the rainy season aggravated access challenges. Flooding combined with a difficult physical terrain made roads in several states impassable, causing delays to aid activities particularly during August-September. Several areas were affected. For example, in Jebel Marra (Central Darfur) the road to Kwila was partly washed away due to flooding. Similarly, damage to road infrastructure made it difficult to reach areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, with some villages were accessible by boat or helicopter.
Deteriorating health system
Health care, sanitation, protection, and education services were affected throughout the country. Inflation resulted in a 200 per cent increase in the cost of medicines and health services, while at the same time the level of medicines imported remained 30 per cent lower compared to 2017.
Sudan experienced outbreaks of water and vector-borne diseases, including Rift Valley Fever, chikungunya and malaria in 2020. These outbreaks coupled with low investment in basic services (e.g. poor WASH, vector control and health infrastructure) resulted in excessive demand on the provision of healthcare in an otherwise already strained health system.
Protection challenges and increased violence in Darfur
Protection risks remained in many parts of the country, with increased risks and violence reported, especially in Darfur.
Many IDPs face harassment when trying to farm, which contributed to food insecurity. Access to protection services remained a concern, coupled with weak rule of law and social protection mechanisms. IDPs and refugees were highly vulnerable, particularly at risk of not accessing basic services such as birth registration and may suffer harassment and direct violence triggered by displacement.
Community support networks have weakened and are not sufficient, and lack of formal dispute resolution mechanisms influence the escalation of localized clashes into larger inter-communal conflicts. In 2020, UNAMID played a role in insuring security, however with UNAMID;s withdrawal there will be a gap in civilian protection.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Sudan in March 2020, the Government introduced measures to contain the spread of the virus. In line with most other countries, Sudan closed international borders, banned public gatherings and interstate movement, while the states introduced curfews.
The Government made provisions for the movement of humanitarian cargo, allowing most aid operations to continue.
Despite difficulties in movement and suspension of faceto-face activities, such as monitoring visits and community engagement, humanitarians managed to continue their work and assist 7.6 million people in 2020.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.