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Sudan/Darfur: ACT/Caritas Appeal SDN101-EA 40/2009

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Norwegian Church Aid Darfur Programme

Appeal Target: US$ 12,327,679 (EUR 8,629,376 )

22nd December 2009

Dear Colleagues,

As we appeal to our member organisations for their support for the NCA Darfur Programme in 2010, it is important to note that this programme was established in mid-2004 as a joint response to the urgent humanitarian needs of the displaced and host communities in Darfur. The agreement between the ACT Coordinating Office and Caritas Internationalis to participate actively in a shared programme under the auspices of Norwegian Church Aid in the Sudan was exceptional, but it demonstrated a willingness to cooperate at all levels in support of a single management structure. With support from 60 member organisations, the programme has already proven its capacity to endure the difficulties of this operational environment. It is one of the largest humanitarian programmes in South and West Darfur with approximately 350,000 beneficiaries, and is recognised by the UN and other observers as an important element in the international relief programme.

Regrettably the humanitarian situation in Darfur remains very serious, with 2.7 million people displaced from their homes, according to the UN's estimate, and more than 4 million people directly affected by the conflict, both in Darfur and Chad. Many of these people have been living in temporary camps for up to six years, but are largely reliant on the international aid programme in order to survive. Although the level of violence appears to have subsided in many of the areas where NCA works, there is still a widespread lack of security which discourages people from returning to their home areas. This is manifested in the regular reports of banditry and carjackings, especially in rural areas. The joint UN-Africa Union force (UNAMID) has had difficulties in building up its capacity due to the logistical problems of the area, the high cost of operations and shortage of manpower. The programme is therefore operating in a very difficult humanitarian environment. Various attempts have been made to initiate a peace process, from the Abuja talks and the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) to the talks in Doha. As we go into 2010, there has been much comment about the preparations for the elections which are due to take place this year - this will be a milestone in Sudan's political development, for better or for worse, which could impact on the situation in Darfur. The elections are due to be followed by the referendum in 2011.

During 2009, the whole humanitarian programme in Darfur experienced a major shock with the expulsion of 13 INGOs on March 4th following the decision of the International Criminal Court to indict the President of Sudan. Approximately 40% of humanitarian capacity was lost as a result of this move. At the same time, our Sudanese partner SUDO was closed down by the authorities. The programme responded by taking responsibility for the management of most of SUDO's health programme as well as a considerable new water and sanitation component in Zalingei that had been the responsibility of two INGOs. These elements will feature again in the new appeal. The planning for 2010 and beyond has been extensively informed by the recommendations of the mid-year review, which was undertaken in August by two evaluators from DanChurchAid and Trocaire who were supported by a reference group of 13 ACT and Caritas member organisations. The review established that indicative funding for the programme remained strong in 2010 in spite of the global financial situation, but that a reduction in the budget was to be expected in 2011. The programme has also worked more closely with various UN agencies by taking part in distributions of commodities and undertaking assessments which proved to be a useful experience and this collaboration is expected to continue.

Partnership will remain a cornerstone in the programme, with a focus on support for Sudanaid and SCC whose development and achievements were highlighted by the review. SCC has become a partner of the UNDP Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF) and we look forward to supporting this implementation. As well as providing practical support for the partners through the Finance Department and Organisational Development and Capacity Building unit, the programme department will also provide partners with technical training in the form of accompaniment, training and workshops. The programme has already initiated early recovery activities, primarily through support to small-scale micro-credit groups and skills training, which will be further developed.

NCA will continue to strive to deliver the two main aims of the programme: the effective delivery of life-saving services to the IDP and host population, and the capacity-building of the two national partner organisations.

A number of reviews or audits are planned for 2010, including water and sanitation, health and nutrition, logistics, mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS and peacebuilding, and we do encourage our member organisations to participate in these activities where the right expertise is available.

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) is the legally registered entity in Sudan for the combined NCA and Partners Programme. NCA is also the lead agency for the ACT Alliance. The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) acts as the facilitating agency for the Caritas Federation in Sudan. The NCA Component is the implementational body which works in parallel with the two national partners, The Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), SudanAid (Caritas in Sudan). The NCA Component also facilitates the delivery of technical and capacity-building support to the partner organisations.

Project Completion Date: 31 December 2010.