About OCHA Sudan
The humanitarian situation in Sudan continues to deteriorate. Despite years of assistance humanitarian needs remain acute and in some cases are deepening. These humanitarian needs are predominantly caused by armed conflict which, in turn, drives displacement and food insecurity.
The priority of the humanitarian community remains ensuring that people receive the immediate lifesaving assistance and protection so crucial to their survival. However, after more than a decade of short-term relief aid, efforts to enhance the self-reliance of affected people will become increasingly central to humanitarian interventions in Sudan.
Despite ongoing peace efforts, 2014 saw an intensification of fighting and, as a result, a deepening of the humanitarian crisis. In Darfur, fighting in 2014 led to a further 430,000 displacements- more than in any single year since the height of the conflict in 2004. Now entering its twelfth year, the conflict in Darfur has become more widespread and unpredictable. Compounded by the rise in general criminality in the region, the humanitarian operating environment has become even more challenging.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, the ongoing violence has resulted in 86,000 new displacements in government controlled areas. Simultaneously the humanitarian situation in SPLM-N controlled areas is becoming increasingly critical following three years in which many humanitarian organizations have been denied access.
Instability around Sudan’s borders is adding to the overall humanitarian burden, with thousands seeking asylum and refuge in Sudan. Following the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, there has been a constant flow of South Sudanese into Sudan. Some 125,000 South Sudanese are expected to arrive by the end of 2014, with an additional 70,000 projected to arrive by the end of 2015. Against a regional backdrop of internal conflict and political instability, there has been a continuing flow of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants (both economic and stranded) from CAR, Chad, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Although humanitarian needs in Sudan are overwhelmingly generated by armed conflict, they are not limited to conflict-affect areas. Food insecurity and malnutrition constitute a nationwide crisis, with seven out of the eighteen states in Sudan experiencing global acute malnutrition rates at or above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent, only three of which, Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref, are not conflict-affected.
The humanitarian crisis in Sudan is exacerbated by environmental factors which also drive displacement and food insecurity. In particular, Sudan has recently experienced unpredictable rainfall patterns which affect the harvest and food supply. While 2015 should see an above average harvest due to higher rains, the 2013-14 level was 68 per cent below the five-year average. In other areas, annual rainfall causes flash-flooding, resulting in temporary displacement and the destruction of homes and livelihoods.
In order to address the diverse humanitarian needs in Sudan, OCHA maintains a flexible and adaptive operational structure. OCHA has sub-offices in the five Darfur states, Abyei, Blue Nile state, South Kordofan state and is currently looking to open an office in West Kordofan state. Staff in these sub-offices provided local coordination support to humanitarian organizations and liaise with the local Government and, where applicable, peacekeeping missions.
OCHA addresses and facilitates issues relating to coordination, communications and humanitarian financing, and serves the entire humanitarian community in Sudan. In doing this, OCHA works with the Sudanese Government Humanitarian Aid Commission and other Government counterparts. OCHA provides support to the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Sudan.
Working with the whole humanitarian community, OCHA looks to foster a conducive operating environment that facilitates the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance (both material assistance and protection assistance). Crucially, OCHA promotes compliance with humanitarian principles in the humanitarian response. This is an essential element of effective humanitarian coordination and is central to establishing and maintaining access to affected populations, particularly in conflict-affected areas of Sudan.