About OCHA Sudan
The humanitarian situation in Sudan remains serious and complex, with acute humanitarian needs across the Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, eastern Sudan and other areas. These humanitarian needs are predominantly caused by conflict and inter-communal tensions, which, in turn, drive displacement and food insecurity. However, humanitarian needs are also driven by poverty, underdevelopment, and climatic factors. Some of the highest rates of malnutrition are found in eastern Sudan – an area free from conflict. Strengthening self-reliance, improving access to basic services and facilitating durable solutions can help address some humanitarian challenges.
The priority of the humanitarian community is to ensure that people in need receive the immediate lifesaving assistance and protection crucial to their survival. However, after more than a decade of short-term relief aid, efforts to enhance the self-reliance of affected people are becoming increasingly central to humanitarian interventions in Sudan.
At the end of 2015, as per the Sudan 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview, there were 5.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Sudan, including 3.3 million in Darfur. Environmental factors also exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, driving displacement and food insecurity. In particular, Sudan has recently experienced unpredictable rainfall patterns and desertification that negatively affect the harvest and food supply. In other areas, annual rainfall causes flash-flooding, resulting in temporary displacement and the destruction of homes and livelihoods.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, ongoing conflict has resulted in new displacement in government-controlled areas. In areas under the control of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement—North (SPLM-N), which humanitarian organisations have not been able to access since 2011, the humanitarian situation is reportedly critical.
In Darfur’s Jebel Marra region, where fresh conflict broke out in early 2016, humanitarian access and assistance has been inconsistent since 2011, particularly in areas controlled by the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). In 2016, aid workers gained access to some new parts of Jebel Marra and tens of thousands of people received assistance, but the basic needs of thousands of people in some areas of Jebel Marra remain unidentified and unmet.
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. Between December 2013 and the end of 2016, nearly 300,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Sudan, fleeing conflict and food insecurity, of whom over 130,000 arrived in 2016. Although South Sudanese refugees are allowed to move freely within the country, the majority has settled in refugee camps in White Nile State and many have sought refuge in East Darfur State. Against a regional backdrop of internal conflict and political instability, there is a continuing flow of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from CAR, Chad, Eritrea and Ethiopia into Sudan.
Although humanitarian needs in Sudan are overwhelmingly generated by armed conflict, they are not limited to conflict-affected areas. Food insecurity and malnutrition constitute a nationwide crisis, with 11 out of the 18 states in Sudan experiencing Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates at or above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. Three of these states—Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref—are not affected by conflict.
Environmental factors also exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, driving displacement and food insecurity. In particular, Sudan has recently experienced unpredictable rainfall patterns and desertification that negatively affect the harvest and food supply. In other areas, annual rainfall causes flash-flooding, resulting in temporary displacement and the destruction of homes and livelihoods. Some 3.6 million people are estimated to be severely food and livelihoods insecure in Sudan, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis for Oct – Dec 2016.
About OCHA Sudan
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is a department in the UN Secretariat. In order to address the diverse humanitarian needs in Sudan, OCHA Sudan maintains a flexible operational structure with sub-offices in eight states: in the five Darfur states, Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Staff in these sub-offices provide local coordination support to humanitarian organisations, liaise with the local government and, where applicable, with peacekeeping missions and other groups.
OCHA addresses and facilitates issues relating to coordination, advocacy, humanitarian financing, and information management for the entire humanitarian community in Sudan. In doing this, OCHA works with the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and other government counterparts. OCHA provides support to the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), the Darfur Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator (DHC) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Sudan.
OCHA looks to foster a conducive operating environment that facilitates the assessment of humanitarian needs and 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.