Sudan + 1 more

Sudan: Multi-Year Humanitarian Strategy 2017-2019

Originally published


Foreword by the Humanitarian Coordinator

For over 14 years, the humanitarian community in Sudan has provided life-saving assistance to people affected by conflict and natural disasters including those internally displaced and refugees fleeing from neighbouring countries. The humanitarian response has also helped to stabilise living conditions for millions of people in Darfur and other areas, and reduced mortality and morbidity. This Multi-Year Humanitarian Strategy – the first of its kind in Sudan – recognises that Sudan has both new crises and long-term humanitarian needs which require different types of interventions. It represents a commitment by the humanitarian community to better address the long-term needs and to work towards a sustainable reduction in needs, vulnerabilities and risk. At the same time, life-saving interventions to respond to new crises will be prioritised in line with humanitarian principles.

This approach will advance the commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit to pursue a New Way of Working that better integrates the humanitarian and development workstreams to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus as part of the Grand Bargain; and brings together humanitarian partners and donors to pursue multi-year humanitarian planning in support of this objective.

Though the intention of this multi-year approach is to take a first step towards putting some of the humanitarian caseload on the road towards a more developmental approach, humanitarian needs in Sudan remain significant, with 4.8 million people in need of assistance this year, including 2.3 million IDPs. Millions of people are facing food insecurity and acute malnutrition. Over 400,000 refugees have arrived from South Sudan since 2013 with over 85,000 arriving in the first three months of this year, and this number is expected to grow. While a robust humanitarian response will continue to be essential - especially in Central Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile – much of this population is also in need of greater development assistance in order for some of the structural underpinnings of the issues to be addressed.

The strategy will be linked to the UNDAF – the UN’s development plan – at the outcome and output levels, enhancing alignment between humanitarian and development goals. Humanitarian partners have already been implementing projects that address long-term displacement and build resilience and in 2016 started to shift to a vulnerability-based approach rather than targeting based on status. Building on this approach, this strategy will lay the foundations for durable solutions for displaced persons - both internally displaced persons and refugees - in line with international normative frameworks.

We have developed the strategy – that will be complemented with annual response plans and budgets – in close cooperation with the Government of Sudan and our national and international partners. Our collective efforts will also be required to implement it successfully. The strategy is in line with the broader vision of the Government to promote stability, reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience. We will also work to strengthen the capacities of national actors, including in preparedness and early warning. Government support and facilitation of humanitarian activities is critical to the success of this strategy. The continued support of donors, including the flexibility to make multi-year funding commitments and to scale up support for development activities, is also critical.

Through these efforts, we are committed to ensuring an efficient, sustainable and principled humanitarian response to those in need.

Ms. Marta Ruedas
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

The multi-year humanitarian strategy

This Multi-Year Humanitarian Strategy is a commitment by the international humanitarian community in Sudan, in line with the Government quarter century strategy and the Government third five-year plan, to deliver a more appropriate humanitarian response to both emergency and long-term needs across the country, in line with humanitarian principles. Planning beyond annual cycles will allow for better preparedness and a stronger evidence base for humanitarian activities. It will also improve collective accountability to affected people by investing in sustainable approaches that enable a gradual transition to durable solutions and development. Multi-year planning will also increase humanitarian actors’ accountability to all stakeholders, including the government, donors and implementing partners, by maximising the impact of available financial resources. This strategy is a commitment to the people of Sudan to shift from saving lives to reducing needs and vulnerabilities and creating the basis for early recovery and durable solutions.


Since the beginning of the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, the humanitarian community has provided life-saving assistance to people affected by conflict and natural disasters and stabilized the living conditions of millions of people in Darfur and other areas. Material and protection assistance has been provided to a long-term refugee population and internally displaced persons (IDPs), reducing mortality and morbidity and preventing a spillover effect and further displacement abroad. At the same time, humanitarian assistance has been extended to people affected by chronic development challenges and limited access to basic services and assets. While this has prevented people from slipping below emergency thresholds, it has not addressed the underlying vulnerabilities, and assistance has been inadequate. Challenges in predicting the extent of conflict, its impact and the resolution thereof have contributed to these shortcomings. It is hoped that the long-term and strategic interventions and the support provided by all stakeholders outlined in this strategy will help to address these issues. Since 2004, funding requests for humanitarian assistance in Sudan have varied from US$700,000 to $2.1 billion annually. In the last five years alone, donors have generously provided at least $3.2 billion1 to consolidated humanitarian response plans.

The shift to a Multi-Year Humanitarian Strategy is supported by the recognition that Sudan has new and long-term humanitarian needs. Across Darfur and the Two Areas, unilateral ceasefires have been announced, which have mostly held. Across Darfur, the main armed groups are largely absent on the ground, but in the Jebel Marra area, some armed groups are present. An improved security situation has provided the impetus for some returns, both from Chad and from within Darfur. There is also renewed hope for further returns, should the overall security situation stabilise further. Even then, the overall volatility of the situation and some inter-communal clashes and general banditry in Darfur have the potential to contribute to new crises or new displacement. The priority in any new crisis would be to save lives. Addressing the long-term humanitarian needs on the other hand requires longer planning horizons, and integrated and multi-sectoral strategies. The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Sudan incorporated such strategies, for example, the HCT Darfur Protracted Displacement Strategy (PDS), the Sudan National IDP Policy, and the Multi-Sectoral Response Strategy for return and reintegration.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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