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Sudan: Humanitarian Funds come together to help people support themselves

08 Nov 2018


Khadija with women lviing in Nertii displacement camp. Credit: FAO

When Khadija Abdulshafi, 55, lost her daughter in 2017, she took charge of raising her five grandchildren in Nertiti IDP camp, Central Darfur State. The youngest was just one month old. Because of the traumatic separation from her mom, the baby girl had trouble feeding, and kept losing weight until she became malnourished.

Khadija was afraid her granddaughter would not make it. But Practical Action (PA), an international NGO that assists vulnerable families, had been implementing a livelihood project in Nertiti IDP camp, where Khadija lives, through which it gave communities access to crops and livestock-based interventions, helping people diversify their food basket while improving their income.

Complementing PA’s work was a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project, funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) targeting the same communities. FAO provided animal supplementary feeding for small ruminants, including goats, to ensure milk and dairy products supply for malnourished children.

This saved the baby’s life. Khadija used to give her granddaughter powdered milk, which is not suitable for a one-month-old baby, but her family was now included in PA and FAO’s projects. While goat milk cannot completely replace breast milk, it is the most suitable milk for a baby’s digestive system. Khadija could now feed her granddaughter sufficiently well and baby’s health started improving immediately.

Now, not only the baby, but all Khadija’s grandchildren could finally drink milk regularly.

Humanitarian funds help people fend for themselves

Across Sudan, 5.5 million people remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Credit: UNAMID

Projects like those funded by CERF and SHF are particularly critical in a country facing one of the world’s largest protracted humanitarian crises, with 5.5 million people in need of assistance facing a daily struggle to support their families. The agile and flexible orientation of the SHF and CERF’s ability to kick-start time-critical interventions have enabled the implementation of longer term solutions for millions of Sudanese people.

In Sudan and in countries where OCHA manages a pooled fund, OCHA works with partners on the ground to ensure the most strategic and effective use of Country-Based Pooled Funds allocations together with other humanitarian funding sources, such as the Central Emergency Response Fund and bilateral funding. This ensures that limited financial resources are used optimally and to their full extent based on a common analysis of the most pressing humanitarian needs.

This is particularly effective when addressing one particular need, such as malnutrition, translates into addressing its underlying causes – from poor hygiene and sanitation, to food insecurity, and poor access to health services.