Sudan: UNICEF Humanitarian Appeal for Children and Women: Jan-Dec 2000



  • Hosts some 4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), the largest IDP population in the world
  • Widespread abuse of human rights, including denial of access to humanitarian assistance, attacks on civilians and abductions of women and children
  • 500,000 to 2 million landmines dispersed; child soldiers recruited by both sides of conflict
  • 5 to 30 per cent of population has access to safe water - as little as 2 litres per person per day
  • Malnutrition in famine areas decreased, while malnutrition among IDPs doubled
  • Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) coverage is 14-17 per cent
  • 40 per cent of child deaths due to diarrhoea
  • Infant mortality rate averages 150-170 per 1,000 live births in war-affected areas
  • Under-five mortality rate is 145 deaths per 1,000 live births; maternal mortality rate, 145 per 100,000 live births
  • Only 30 per cent of children enrolled in schools; attendance is below 10 per cent; only 26 per cent of enrolled students are girls
  • More than 40 second-tier conflicts fought over natural resources and administrative authority
  • Over 45 UN Agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) consortium members rely upon UN for security
  • UN barge convoy ambushed, and relief plane and passengers held hostage in 1999


Sudan is the largest emergency programme among 16 countries currently designated as 'complex emergencies' by UNICEF. Ailments include protracted conflict, displaced populations, disease outbreaks, poor nutrition, health and sanitation conditions and widespread human rights abuses - including abduction, rape and violence against civilians, particularly women and girls. Landmines impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as the orderly movement of people and commodities. In 2000, the humanitarian community will pursue three major goals: survival and growth, human rights promotion and special protection and peace-building.

In an effort to enhance the relevance of humanitarian aid, UNICEF has adopted a novel approach to humanitarian assistance by establishing direct linkages to child protection and the promotion of international humanitarian principles. Existing delivery systems are being used to raise awareness among target populations of their rights and to increase sensitivity among groups in authority about the rights of war-affected populations. At the same time, new interventions target reconciliation and conflict prevention in settling disputes among tribal groups in the south. This double-edged intervention, which essentially requires human rights awareness/protection in exchange for humanitarian assistance, further reflects the Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) commitment to mitigating suffering among the women and children of Sudan. It also demonstrates the importance of partnership-building both with local NGO and community groups and within the UN and international NGO community. This programme may prove to be the silver bullet in the push for lasting peace in Sudan.

The 2000 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal (CAP) for Sudan includes 24 projects from eight UN Agencies. UNICEF requirements are just over one quarter of the total required amount. Twenty-seven project synopses totalling $18,554,848 from ten NGOs are also included in the 2000 CAP.


UNICEF Project Activities
Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES)
Emergency Basic Education
Children in Need of Special Protection
Human Rights Promotion
Mine Awareness
Grassroots Peace-Building Initiatives
Security Operations
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Logistics support (Northern Sector)
OLS Consortium - Humanitarian Services and Coordination Unit
Planning, Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation
Sub Total
UNICEF/FAO Project Activities
Household Food Security


Violent conflict continues unabated in southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, southern Blue Nile region and in eastern Sudan along the border with Eritrea. Disputes over oil revenue threaten stability in Unity State and beyond. All parties have systematically violated human rights and international humanitarian law, including denial of the right to access to humanitarian assistance; attacks on civilians; recruitment of child soldiers; use of aerial and land bombardment and anti-personnel mines; torture; forced disappearance; killing; and displacement. Violations occasionally include the complete razing to the ground of villages, targeting the very sources of livelihoods for communities through cattle raiding, killing and abducting children and women.

Yet, the humanitarian situation actually improved in 1999. The famine in Bahr Al Ghazal is over and the majority of feeding centres have closed. IDPs are returning home. A productive harvest in Bahr Al Ghazal during 1999 is allowing affected communities to replenish their assets. The overall security situation has improved as well. For the first time since the beginning of the civil war, a ceasefire has been in place in Bahr Al Ghazal and parts of Upper Nile throughout the year. In 1999, access to people in need increased.

The fight for increased access continues, however, as denial of access is wielded as a weapon by the Government of Sudan (GoS). After a year and a half of unprecedented access, the GOS is again restricting relief flights into areas of need, including Blue Nile State. While transport increased with access to southern Bahr Al Ghazal, plans to increase access by road, rail and river have not been realized.

Global malnutrition in Bahr Al Ghazal, Equatoria and Malakal fell from an average of 30 per cent to 15 per cent. However, malnutrition among displaced populations increased from 14 per cent to 28 per cent. A large proportion of undernourishment was reported in Unity State, Upper Nile and Jonglei, attributable to poor health and disease.

Destruction and sabotage of water sources, massive population displacement, deficiencies in institutional infrastructures, departure of qualified personnel and limited access to materials/spares, as well as logistical constraints, contribute to overall low water coverage.

Sudan includes areas of relative stability, as well as pockets of severe conflict and displacement. Even in regions spared of conflict, the presence of large numbers of IDPs, and the resulting strain on limited resources, exacerbates the need for international humanitarian assistance.


  • UNICEF delegated consortium coordination responsibilities to a separate unit and began concentrating on sectoral interventions in order to improve its capacity to assist vulnerable populations;
  • OLS has begun to develop an integrated, centralized information framework that includes identification of existing data sources and determination of key information needs. The establishment of OLS standards in data collection, and the development and application of Geographic Information System (GIS) for data analysis were significant achievements in 1999;
  • Another major activity in 1999 was implementation of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in accessible areas of southern Sudan;
  • Through collaboration in delivery of animal vaccines and establishment of community-based animal health services, UNICEF and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) prepared for FAO to assume coordination responsibilities for the well-established livestock programme;
  • An important lesson learned from the Bahr Al Ghazal emergency is that humanitarian assistance cannot substitute for a political solution to the conflict. Peace talks are proceeding slowly; however, grass-roots efforts at peace and reconciliation are yielding results that profoundly impact the lives of ordinary Sudanese.
  • In an effort to end the conflict, UNICEF initiated the Future Search conference in November in Nairobi to provide an opportunity for Sudanese from all walks of life to discuss their vision for a peaceful society; OLS agencies provided support to the Wunlit Peace Conference between Dinka and Nuer to promote peace-building and conflict resolution;
  • Recognized that targeting mechanisms that take into account traditional indicators of vulnerability must be implemented in order to avoid redistribution and to reduce diversions.


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