The Mid-Year Review of the 2012 Sudan Humanitarian Work Plan (HWP) comes at a time of growing concern for Sudan.
The first half of 2012 witnessed a serious escalation of tensions between Sudan and South Sudan over outstanding Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA ) issues and South Sudan’s decision to halt transporting oil through Sudan. The heightened tensions spilled over into conflict and culminated in the occupation of the Higlig area by South Sudanese armed forces and destruction of key oil installations in April. This caused yet more displacement and vulnerability in the border areas.
Sudan’s economic situation continued to deteriorate generally due to the loss of oil revenues, high levels of inflation, a weakening currency and poor harvests. Together, these factors have raised prices of basic food items and increased concerns over food security throughout the country. This comes at a time of decreased government revenues: government development spending and transfers to the states for basic service delivery and social safety nets have decreased by 26% and 20% respectively compared to this time last year.
Meanwhile, the continuation of armed conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states between Government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) has been a major cause for concern. The conflict has continued to affect civilians. According to the Government Humanitarian Aid Commission, in Government-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the number of people displaced or severely affected by the conflict by the end of June 2012 was 275,000 (207,000 in South Kordofan and 68,000 in Blue Nile).
In addition, for the SPLM-N controlled areas, information from various sources indicates that there are an estimated 420,000 people who are severely affected (350,000 in South Kordofan and 70,000 in Blue Nile). The UN has no presence in SPLMN-controlled areas and has not been able to independently verify these figures. There are signals that the humanitarian situation is deteriorating fast in SPLM-N held areas which have been cut off for many months and where there are reported to be severe food shortages and few functioning health services.
In addition to the large number of people who are internally displaced from the fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, by the end of June 2012 over 200,000 refugees had fled to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
In Government-held areas, the Government of Sudan has provided and facilitated the delivery of humanitarian assistance through its Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and other national organizations and institutions. The United Nations (UN) and its humanitarian partners have been able to provide some assistance in Government-held areas, most of this having been channeled through the Sudanese Red Crescent and other national organisations and institutions. In some cases, some UN staff have been permitted to participate in joint assessments with HAC in government-held areas. As a result of the security situation and access restrictions, there was no delivery of food and other emergency assistance to people in SPLM-N areas. A tripartite proposal of the African Union, the League of Arab States and the United Nations for access to all conflict-affected people in the two states has been developed and was accepted by the government in June 2012.
In Abyei, the majority of the estimated 109,000 people who were displaced in 2011 have not yet returned. Concerning the displaced Ngok Dinka who fled southwards in 2011, some 9,000 people had returned to areas north of the Bahr Al Arab/Kiir River by the end of June. Concerning the Misseriya people who were also displaced, no figures are yet available on numbers that have returned to the Abyei area. The recent withdrawal of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces from the area is a positive development and may pave the way for a large-scale return in the months ahead for the remainder of the displaced.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.