UNICEF Emergency Programmes: Sudan Northern Sector Donor Update 5 Jun 2000



Sudanese population suffering lack of basic survival needs. Immunisation rates decline.

The Sudanese populations in war, flood and drought affected states, continue to lack essential and basic survival assistance. Peace continues to be the most important issue as every Sudanese child is affected by the ongoing wars. (Of a total population of 31 million there are 4.9 million children below five years in the Government controlled areas and 0.9 million in the areas covered by the Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) southern sector.) Despite many peace initiatives, the major civil war between the SPLM/A and the Government of Sudan (GOS) continues, as do some 40 less known and even less understood second-tier violent ethnic conflicts. Fighting between the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and GOS troops continued in April in North Kassala State, in the Eastern Region. Insecurity, lack of capital and international isolation have effectively curtailed any utilization of natural resources that might have contributed to the development of the country. Immunization coverage for children under five has declined from a high of 79% in 1995 to 63% in 1999. Within this coverage there are major geographical disparities; some localities in the south may have coverage rates as low as 1%. Malaria extracts a heavy toll among children in hyper endemic areas, with incidence rates of up to 35% and case fatality rates as high as 7%.

School attendance under 10% in southern sector.

Education is characterised by low gross enrolment rates in the primary sector. For northern Sudan the total enrolment rate, for age group 6-11, is 49.1%, whilst education has remained at the most primitive level in many areas in southern Sudan due to the continued conflict and displacement of populations. Only 30% of the estimated one million school-age children in the war-affected areas are enrolled, while actual attendance is under 10%.

Rising malnutrition rates: Deteriorating food supply.

Malnutrition levels in Unity State continue to be a matter of concern to aid agencies. Reports in March indicated that in one part of Bentiu town with an IDP population, the global malnutrition rate was 50% and in others the rate hovered around 26%. The security situation last month prevented aid workers from carrying out any interventions in the area, however, a security assessment mission at the end of April reported that UN agencies and NGOs could return to work in Bentiu, with some restrictions. Reports from Malakal, the capital city of the Upper Nile state, indicate a food shortage gap. A nutrition survey carried out in May, in collaboration with MOH (Ministry Of Health) and NGOs, indicated a global malnutrition rate of 13% for children under five years of age. Nutrition interventions and surveillance are on-going.