Mid-Year Review of the Work Plan for Sudan 2009
The update of the United Nations and Partners 2009 Work Plan marks a moment of transition. The events of early 2009 have changed the operational environment for humanitarian actors in Sudan and given rise to a review of stakeholders’ actions. Key aspects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement – the census, DDR, and the Interim Abyei Administration – are advancing the movement towards recovery. However, each of these benchmarks has been offset by continued challenges for the people of Sudan. Insecurity and conflict have caused displacement as well as protection and human rights concerns in the Three Areas, southern Sudan and Darfur. Access to vulnerable people to ensure delivery of basic and life-saving services remains a challenge, especially in rural and isolated communities. The loss of Sudanese and international NGOs in early March has altered the humanitarian community’s ability to implement programmes, challenging stakeholders to both respond to immediate life-threatening gaps and identify sustainable solutions.
Meeting humanitarian needs and responding to crises have been the objectives of the first half of 2009, and they will remain so for the rest of the year. The United Nations and national and international NGOs, in cooperation with the Government and donors, have responded to life-threatening needs by providing 104,500 metric tons of food assistance, feeding more than six million children, providing chlorinated water to more than a million people, maintaining health facilities and servicing nearly 1.3 million outpatients. This work has prevented meningitis and polio outbreaks in Darfur and southern Sudan, mitigated the long-term effects of malnutrition in children under five, promoted the well-being of persons at risk and enabled preparations for the rainy season. While noting these successes, chronic gaps and concerns for strategic and sustainable solutions are becoming more pressing. The loss of capacity has highlighted vulnerabilities in ensuring that humanitarian needs are met and early recovery is promoted. Lessons learned in 2009 build on the experience of previous years and bring into focus important considerations for the remainder of the year and preparations for 2010.
The situation provoked by the removal of NGOs in northern Sudan resulted in Joint Government-UN assessments in Darfur and the Three Areas. Immediate life-threatening needs were addressed and intense dialogue between stakeholders laid the groundwork for closer collaboration. Broader engagement of stakeholders in an enhanced high-level committee, strengthened cluster coordination and monitoring, and recruitment and resource mobilization to fill capacity gaps, are examples of areas where the United Nations and Partners are solidifying their work for the remainder of 2009 and beyond.
The international community has generously contributed almost US$ 1.2 billionto humanitarian and early recovery programmes in Sudan, or 56% of the revised requirements, to date in 2009. In addition, Government of National Unity contributions have sustained salaries for critical health and water services in Darfur. Nonetheless, gaps in livelihoods, basic infrastructure, education, returns, and early recovery programming persist across all sectors. Mechanisms for long-term support need to exist if sustainable solutions are to be in place. The United Nations and Partners will engage stakeholders in the second half of 2009 to address issues of strengthened coordination and programme monitoring to ensure humanitarian needs are met and early recovery promoted in a predictable, transparent and accountable manner.
Southern Sudan witnessed increased violence with the presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army and inter-tribal conflict. Combined with political instability and severe emergency indicators, the role of the international community to provide a safety net throughout the transition to recovery is paramount. Continued insecurity and risks to the population cannot be assuaged by the nascent Government of southern Sudan. A crisis in public financing and inadequate administrative and legislative capacity limit the role of the Government in ensuring the delivery of basic services to all people, particularly the rural, isolated and vulnerable. Persistent funding gaps have reduced humanitarian programming, and for the remainder of 2009 UN and Partners have identified critical activities that represent a minimum level of assistance required to address emergency needs.
For the remainder of 2009, NGOs and UN agencies will focus on adapting to changes in the operational environment, ensuring capacity is maintained to deliver critical humanitarian services. Of particular focus is strengthening humanitarian coordination and accountability in the wake of the 4 March decision, especially as the critical hunger gap arrives, and the potential for drought and insecurity trends continue. Southern Sudan has identified a funding gap of $59 million for critical activities to maintain a minimum safety net. Key life-saving activities remain essential in Darfur, while gaps in livelihoods and education each remain areas of concerns. The total unmet requirement for the remainder of 2009 is $916 million.