- Sudan is ranked 150 of 182 on the Human Development Index.
- An estimated 4.9 million people are internally displaced in Sudan.
- Sudan is the largest humanitarian operation globally with the international community providing $1.3 billion in humanitarian assistance in 2009.
- Developments in Sudan in 2009 included the expelling of 13 INGOs and dissolving of three national NGOs on 4 March 2009 – and a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Southern Sudan.
- Inter-tribal violence and LRA attacks have killed an estimated 2,500 people and displaced around 350,000 people in Southern Sudan in 2009.
- National elections in April 2010 and the referendum on the future of Southern Sudan, scheduled for January 2011, will mark the end of the interim period outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
In 2010, OCHA Sudan expects to face the following challenges:
- The large number of humanitarian actors in Sudan, as well as the wide variance in the intensity and scope of needs.
- Dual coordination structures in Darfur and rest of Sudan, including the existence of two separate peacekeeping missions.
- Significantly reduced NGO capacity to respond to the humanitarian situation in Darfur, affecting the reach of aid delivery, quality of services and monitoring of needs.
- The maintaining of donor interest to continue supporting humanitarian operations in Darfur and a growing humanitarian crisis in southern Sudan.
- Insecurity, poor infrastructure, heavy rains and incomplete information all impeding effective humanitarian programming, leading to potentially duplicative or poorly targeted efforts.
- An increase in the number of violent incidents targeting humanitarian workers, including an alarming kidnapping trend further limiting the humanitarian community’s ability to reach the people in need.
In the face of the above challenges, OCHA has an important role in the following areas:
- Humanitarian leadership and coordination.
- A bridge between humanitarian actors and the two peacekeeping mission covering Darfur (UNAMID) and Southern Sudan (UNMIS) and coordination with the missions in the areas of protection of civilians and humanitarian access.
- Secretariat for the Sudan Humanitarian Work Plan, the country’s key planning, fund raising and tracking tool produced by all humanitarian actors.
- Advocacy with the government, donors, and the community at large and provision of humanitarian information and analysis, through public information and information management activities.
In 2010, the OCHA Sudan action plan will include the following priorities:
- OCHA will facilitate the coordination of humanitarian actors to ensure the appropriate, adequate and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most affected populations. In 2010, OCHA Sudan will reinforce its support to the strengthening of coordinated emergency response, early warning and joint assessments and contingency planning mechanisms. As such, OCHA coordination section at the Khartoum level – which oversees and supports country-wide activities – will be strengthened with additional capacity. As well, it will ensure a clearer TOR, with responsibilities for the development and monitoring of the Sudan Work Plan, focused on humanitarian and emergency programmes. These functions will also be strengthened and refocused in all Darfur states and in Juba to ensure that OCHA improves country-wide inter-cluster/sector coordination, contingency planning, analysis, outreach and advocacy.
- OCHA will promote humanitarian principles and access by facilitating common assessments, information management services and advocacy efforts. OCHA leadership will enable humanitarian actors to identify the most effective channels to advocate for humanitarian concerns and challenges. OCHA will maintain an active engagement with the government, peacekeeping missions, and influential Member States to ensure a conducive environment for humanitarian action, the protection of civilians and the safety of UN and associated personnel.
- OCHA will provide tools and services, in support of the two-above mentioned strategic priorities. The following efforts are expected to translate into improved OCHA support services to the humanitarian community in Sudan: the establishment of a strong PI unit in Khartoum; strengthening of OCHA Sudan’s IM capacity; refocusing of the former policy/planning unit to a CHF/CERF management/humanitarian aid unit; and strengthening of the OCHA coordination support role.
Renewing Collaboration in Darfur
The establishment of a strengthened and expanded High Level Committee (HLC) at the federal level and regular visits by the group to Darfur states has helped establish a renewed spirit of collaboration between the government and the humanitarian community. HLC members include the United Nations, NGOs, donors/diplomatic missions, regional organizations, United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNAMID), and many government line ministries. This forum presents a unique opportunity to discuss key gaps and challenges related to programme quality, bureaucratic impediments and safety and security issues.
Due to the high level nature of the meeting, accountability on how to address key gaps are jointly discussed with the government. An interesting outcome of these joint meetings has been greater trust and relationship building between the sector lead and their respective line ministry. This has facilitated more open dialogue, empathy and commitment to address the unmet needs of vulnerable populations in Darfur. Since its first meeting on 7 May 2009, the HLC has met three times. Among the achievements, the HLC has endorsed clear terms of reference, established state level monitoring mechanisms and discussed the protection issue.