United Nations and Partners Mid-Year Review of the Work Plan for Sudan 2008
The 2008 UN and Partners Work Plan for Sudan outlines humanitarian and development programmes for a country deeply scarred by decades of man-made conflict and natural disasters. Three years have passed since Sudan’s warring factions signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to end the war between north and south. In that time, there has been considerable progress towards building sustainable peace; so too has there been considerable conflict. While large swathes of the country continue to progress away from humanitarian need towards recovery and development, others remain embroiled in fighting, and until that stops, millions will continue to suffer and to rely on humanitarian aid.
As this Mid-Year Review shows, 2008 has already been a year of several successes: across Sudan, roads have been built, mines cleared, millions of children vaccinated and dozens removed from armed groups. More than 85,000 displaced Sudanese have been assisted by the UN to return home from North Sudan and neighbouring countries, while around 3.4 million people received food. Hundreds of teachers, lawyers, police, government officials, judges, parents and children have been taught new skills and given training on subjects like human rights, gender inequalities, child protection, budget planning, AIDS, mine risk and conflict resolution. The need to manage Sudan’s resources has moved up the agenda as a component of sustainable development: their depletion not only makes people more reliant on aid, but also aggravates the fundamental causes of conflict. On all these issues, coordination between the UN and Partners, government parties, civil society and donors has improved and supported progress across Sudan.
Yet alongside these reports of progress, continuing violence has not only compounded the misery of millions of Sudanese but increasingly complicated the delivery of vital humanitarian aid. The first six months of 2008 have seen several worrying developments. In Darfur, conflict is deepening. Another 200,000 people have been displaced so far this year, taking the total number of displaced and vulnerable to around 4.3 million. Camps are over-crowded; water in short supply; consecutive bad harvests and rising food and fuel prices have heightened malnutrition. Of great concern to the humanitarian community is that it is increasingly the target of violence. This year, 12 humanitarian workers have been killed in Sudan, eight of them in Darfur. More than 140 have been abducted and more than 170 vehicles hijacked. The United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) remains under-deployed and ill-equipped to protect civilians, and insecurity has cut off thousands of people from much-needed aid. The UN’s decision to raise security levels both in Darfur and the rest of North Sudan, taken after this report was compiled, may also impact future operations and planning.
Violence has extended beyond Darfur. An attack on Omdurman by Darfur-based rebels in May brought that battle almost to the capital, leading to a security clampdown in Darfur and the tightening of restrictions that make the UN and Partners’ task there all the more difficult. The brutal attack on UNAMID in Darfur and possible security and political implications due to the announcements from the International Criminal Court remain of serious concern. Heavy fighting in Abyei, also in May, forced up to 60,000 people to flee their homes, creating an emergency need that diverted funds, materials, and energies needed elsewhere. The violence in Abyei did not come out of nowhere: continued boundary disputes, disregard for oil revenue sharing agreements and the lack of an interim administration have all taken their toll. While the UN and Partners were able to respond quickly to May’s crisis, rebuilding Abyei will cost more than US$ 13 million.Security across the Three Areas of Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile has deteriorated in the first part of the year and is of real concern; the border region is a tinderbox, and without high level attention is likely to flare.
The Mid-Year Review offers a good opportunity to review strategic approaches and priorities as the UN and Partners begin to plan for 2009. While previous Work Plans reported on humanitarian assistance and recovery and development, 2008 saw the introduction of a new category: early recovery, intended to highlight the gradual transition towards long-term, sustainable solutions. In 2009, the Work Plan will present only humanitarian and early recovery portfolios while a separate United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) will plan for recovery and development; in preparation, this Mid-Year Review focuses on those first two categories. While the transition towards development remains a goal, it is clear that humanitarian needs have not diminished. Humanitarian and early recovery funding requirements rose by $81 million to $1.95 billion in the first half of the year, the most significant increases driven by rising food prices, growing need for transportation and greater support to refugees. At the same date, $1.03 billion had been received – more than half of which was to support Darfur – leaving a shortfall of $911 million. In the absence of political solutions, it is difficult to predict anything but an increase in humanitarian needs.
All dollar signs in this document are United States dollars. Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (