• UNICEF response helped halt the cholera outbreak in Blue Nile and Sennar states that killed eight (four children) and affected 332 people including (69 children). This involved an integrated response from UNICEF Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Communication for Development (C4D) and sector/cluster leadership which resulted in 1.6 million cholera vaccinations being administered and hygiene messaging reaching 4.5 million.
• UNICEF participated in the joint UN, inter-agency missions into the SPLM-N controlled areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan and distributed education supplies to over 800 children for the first time since 2011. Multi-sectoral assessments are informing how UNICEF will support the ongoing peace process in 2020.
• The last days of 2019 saw tribal conflict displace around 48,000 people in and around Geneina in West Darfur. UNICEF responded with coordination support, WASH, health and nutrition supplies and services. Humanitarian support will continue into 2020.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
2.6 million children among 5.5 million people who need Humanitarian Assistance (Source: Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview 20181 )
960,000 children among 2 million internally displaced (Source: Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview 2018)
438,184 children among 811,452 South Sudanese refugees
UNICEF Appeal 2019 US$ 142.23 million
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The peace talks between the Sudanese government and the armed movements in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan resumed in Juba following a standstill of nearly two months. The third round of negotiations started on 14 December 2019 and negotiators expressed their willingness to reach a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement, ending the state of war in Sudan and fulfilling the peace priorities of the Sudanese revolution. On 17 December 2019, a framework agreement for continued cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access to the war-affected areas in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan was signed by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the Vice-President of the Transitional Supreme Council and head of the Government peace delegation, and Malik Agar SPLM-North leader.
On 16 October 2019, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) revealed their “rescue and alternative policies” containing five main pillars: 1) ending war and peacebuilding; 2) democratic transition; 3) economy, development and financial policies; 4) citizens’ rights; 5) external relations and investment. The program will be discussed through sectoral conferences and professional workshops to be conducted in the coming seven months.
On 31 October 2019, US President Donald Trump issued a notice to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13067 on Sudan over the government's failure to address the cause of the country's political crisis. On the same day, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the Darfur peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) for one year.
UN inter-agency teams visited the rebel-held areas of Yabus in the south of Blue Nile (14-16 December) and Kauda in South Kordofan (30 December). David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), met with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) faction’s leader, Abdelaziz El Hilu, initiating humanitarian access for WFP, UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and other UN Agencies. This is the first time since 2011 UN personnel have been able to visit this region. In anticipation and preparation to the opening of the ”TwoAreas”, UNICEF sent health supplies, medicine and schools supplies to reach approximately 35,000 people and 6000 pupils respectively.
On 2 September 2019, the first case of cholera was reported in Roseires locality in Blue Nile. Following lab testing and confirmation of the strain, the Federal Minister of Health officially declared a cholera outbreak in Blue Nile on 9 September 2019 in accordance with international health regulations; a welcome departure from previous years. Further cases were identified in Sennar demonstrating the spread of the disease and need for containment. Overall, 202 cases were admitted in Blue Nile and 132 in Sennar, with eight and three deaths recorded respectively. The declaration was met with support from the international community and over the next two months an overwhelming response led by the government and sector partners in the origin and adjacent states halted the outbreak by 17 November 2019. The response included procurement of 1.6 million vaccinations, widespread hygiene campaigns, and health care. The UNICEF-led sectors alongside the WHO-led health sector developed a six-month inter-agency response plan. Efforts to prevent and mitigate future outbreaks in 2020 are ongoing.
On 28 December 2019, violence erupted between communities in and around El Geneina, West Darfur. At least 54 people were reportedly killed including 11 children, 60 injured and an estimated 48,000 were displaced from their homes. Displaced communities gathered at 32 points throughout El Geneina city, mostly in schools and governmental buildings. Humanitarian agencies undertook initial assessments and delivered non-food items (NFIs), food, health, nutrition and WASH services in the gathering places. Cases of sexual and gender- based violence (SGBV) were reported. Security forces from Khartoum were deployed to El Geneina and a delegation from the federal government was present for one week to ensure the situation remains stable.
The economic situation continues to cast its shadow across the country. While the Government has initiated structural adjustments to improve the long-term outlook, poverty continues to encroach on the everyday lives of people in Sudan. Hyper-inflation continues and the exchange value of the Sudanese pound remains in decline, raising the cost of living while wage rates remain stagnant. More families and communities are becoming vulnerable and resorting to coping mechanisms that are detrimental to the wellbeing of children across all of UNICEF’s sectors.