- Supported establishment of an expanded High-Level Committee in Khartoum and state-level joint monitoring committees in the three Darfur states to address security, access and programme challenges with the Government following expulsion of NGOs from Darfur in March 2009.
- Responded to deteriorating humanitarian situation in Southern Sudan by refocused and strengthened presence in Juba, from an early warning/monitoring entity to a standard OCHA presence.
- Provided timely analysis of the humanitarian situation and facilitated information sharing and coordination among humanitarian partners.
OCHA maintained a strong focus on issues of humanitarian access in the western region of Darfur, where persistent insecurity as well as bureaucratic impediments constrained efforts to reach people in need. The Government’s decision in March 2009 to expel 13 international NGOs and dissolve three national NGOs significantly reduced humanitarian capacity in Darfur. OCHA’s efforts towards restoring trust between the Government and the humanitarian community, and advocating an improved operational environment proved critical in ensuring the continuity of humanitarian operations in Darfur so that the most critical gaps were met to avoid a major deterioration of conditions.
The expulsion of NGOs left more than 1 million vulnerable people without humanitarian assistance. The significant shift in the role of United Nations agencies, NGOs and the Government required revisions to the work plan via the MYR. OCHA provided dedicated capacity to support the clusters. However, due to decreased humanitarian presence in Darfur, strengthening sector coordination progressed slower than anticipated. Despite staffing levels being below the required capacity, OCHA facilitated rapid needs assessments and led coordination efforts in handing over service delivery to available providers, including United Nations agencies, NGOs and Government partners.
Coordination efforts with the Government were strengthened through the High-Level Committee and State-level joint monitoring committees that OCHA helped establish. The Area HCT was instituted in the three Darfur states, transitioning from the Inter-Agency Management Group. At the Khartoum level, the HCT was streamlined to senior-level participation to enable more substantive policy decision-making. The CHF, managed by OCHA, provided $110 million towards meeting urgent humanitarian needs throughout Sudan.
In Southern Sudan, increasing violence and food insecurity demanded an urgent response within a vast area suffering from poor infrastructure, minimal Government capacity and low development indicators. Rising violence and food insecurity increased the vulnerability of some 40 per cent of the population. OCHA, in cooperation with the RCO, facilitated assessments of affected areas and coordinated the delivery of assistance to communities affected by food shortages, violent conflict caused by inter-tribal clashes and attacks by the LRA. OCHA Juba facilitated the establishment of the HCT for Southern Sudan, to better address simultaneous emergencies in multiple locations.
The ERF for Southern Sudan allocated $1 million towards unforeseen emergencies and emerging gaps.With the situation expected to deteriorate leading up to the April 2010 elections and the 2011 referendum, OCHA led efforts to refocus programming on emergency response and state-level contingency planning, as well as to improve monitoring of displacements caused by conflict.
OCHA Sudan continued to reinforce the gender perspective in humanitarian programmes, with field assessments and reporting emphasizing priority needs of women and children. Protection issues, including GBV, remained a challenge regarding coordination, response and advocacy, while OCHA assisted in efforts to engage Government partners in constructive discussions on the nature and scope of civilian protection.