From the 19th of December there have been civil protests which have also affected children. UNICEF is closely monitoring and regularly com-municating with Government authorities at Federal and State levels to raise our concerns and advocate for the protection of children.
UNICEF and its partners negotiated access for 1300 children from non-government-controlled areas in Jebel Marra to ensure they could sit for their Grade 8 exams in government-controlled territory, permitting chil-dren to continue their higher education.
Following the contained outbreak in Kassala, late 2018, the Red Sea State recorded increased incidences of Chikungunya. 835 health work-ers were trained to promote key behaviour changes in 70,187 house-holds and a mass media campaign targeted 207,000 individuals. UNICEF appreciates private sector partners ZAIN and MTN for their assistance in sharing SMS messages with affected communities.
In 2018, a total of 1,635,400 children under-five received health and nu-trition interventions including measles vaccinations, treatment for common childhood illnesses and Severe Acute Malnutrition and UNICEF’s Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) programme for moth-ers and caregivers.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs:
In 2018, Sudan continued to face protracted, complex and overlapping humanitarian challenges, driven by internal and external con-flicts and large-scale displacements, climatic and socioeconomic conditions that led to natural disasters, epidemics, food insecurity and malnutrition. An economic crisis has triggered a rise in the cost of living and eroded household purchasing power (annual infla-tion reached almost 70 percent by November). The situation was aggravated by shortages of fuel, bread, medicines and cash, im-pacting vulnerable children and families, including 5.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, and slowing humanitarian and development operations by all partners. Faced with this situation, Sudan witnessed multiple civil demonstrations that in some instances have necessitated deferment of UNICEF activities in the field.
Heavy rains and consequent flash floods also shaped the 2018 humanitarian situation and affected more than 195,000 people, dam-aging households and livelihoods in 15 out of Sudan’s 18 States. In August 2018, an outbreak of Chikungunya virus fever has been reported from Kassala state (Eastern Sudan). As of the 31st of December, a total of 26,892 suspected cases of Chikungunya fever were reported from 10 States with the bulk of cases reported from Kassala, and Red Sea States. Females represent 56 percent of the total reported cases while children under-5 years of age contributed to 5 percent of the total cases. The Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) outbreak which first hit Sudan in 2016 and spread across Sudan’s 18 States in 2017 was somewhat contained in 2018. A total number of 134 cases of AWD were reported (53.9 percent of cases were female), all of whom were admitted and treated, with one reported death in Central Darfur. A measles outbreak was also reported, with Kassala, Gedaref and Northern States being the most affected. The nutrition situation amongst vulnerable groups in Sudan remained critical, with a high number of reported cases of acute malnutrition among South Sudanese refugees in White Nile, and a high number of cases among populations of newly accessible areas in Jebel Marra and Blue Nile.
Except for small pockets in Jebel Marra, the security situation in Darfur remained relatively stable in 2018. Some areas, Jebel Marra, the Nuba mountains in South Kordofan, and certain localities in Blue Nile remained mostly inaccessible despite some improvements to access. The number of registered refugees from South Sudan in Darfur currently stands at 150,326 as of December 20186. The inter-agency assessments conducted in areas such as Mistariha, Otash and Hissahissa camps, Rokero, Thur, East Jebel Marra, and Golo uncovered massive humanitarian needs in health, nutrition, education, shelter, WASH, food and protection areas. The insuffi-cient availability of funding for humanitarian actors, a need for timely issuance of visa and travel permits for humanitarian actors and the rapid processing of technical agreements were some of the concerns related to UNICEF’s ability to respond to humanitarian needs. The status quo of sporadic fighting during 2018 also meant that the numbers of displaced populations continue to create vulnerabilities, with the majority being children and women.