As the Sudan continues to undergo political transition, the country is facing a complex and protracted humanitarian situation characterized by conflict-related displacement, flooding, epidemics, malnutrition, food insecurity and a deteriorating economy. As of August 2019, 1.8 million people, including 800,000 children, are displaced; and the Sudan is hosting the fourthhighest number of refugees and asylum seekers in the world at 1.1 million. In 2020, an estimated 9.3 million people, including 4.65 million children, will require humanitarian assistance. Deteriorating household food and nutrition security remain the key drivers of vulnerability in the Sudan. An estimated 5.8 million people – 14 per cent of the population – are experiencing crisis or worse levels of food insecurity, and some 3.2 million women and children are suffering from global acute malnutrition. An estimated 700,000 children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Due to soaring annual inflation, purchasing power and access to social services have deteriorated, forcing the population to adopt negative coping mechanisms and threatening the well-being of women and children. Outbreaks of diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya and cholera pose an enduring threat. The limited number of operational partners in the context of insecurity and inaccessibility continues to hinder humanitarian assistance.
In 2020, UNICEF will focus on providing basic services to the most vulnerable people in the Sudan, including internally displaced persons and refugees, by putting protection at the centre of humanitarian action. This includes strengthening systems, capacities and processes to deliver efficient and effective services in areas affected by conflict, epidemics, floods and malnutrition. UNICEF will implement the response through 10 field offices and by leveraging its cluster leadership to prioritize partner resources and interventions. In health and nutrition, UNICEF will focus on life-saving services and prevention, including early detection and treatment of SAM, infant and young child feeding, integrated management of childhood illness, the provision of essential medicines and capacity building of health care providers.
In water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), UNICEF will provide safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and risk communication services. Protection risks will be addressed through investments in the mitigation and prevention of gender-based violence. In education, UNICEF will advocate for accelerated and flexible access to schooling for 1.7 million out-of-school, crisis-affected children. In line with the Grand Bargain commitments and efforts to link humanitarian action and development programming, UNICEF will strengthen partnerships and coordination mechanisms to invest in durable solutions, resilience and capacity development.
Results from 2019
As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$54.7 million available against the US$142 million appeal (39 per cent funded). While critical funding gaps, particularly for education, exacerbated by civil unrest and disruption of the academic year, led to low achievement against planned targets, UNICEF leveraged its core resources and government and partner resources to support the humanitarian response. During the year, UNICEF reached nearly 1.1 million people with life-saving interventions. Nearly 500,000 children were vaccinated against measles; nearly 152,800 people accessed safe water; some 762,800 women and children under 5 years accessed essential maternal and child health services; and over 128,000 children were treated for malnutrition. Continuing support during the civil unrest ensured that over 210,000 children, including those affected by or witness to violence, received communitybased psychosocial support and specialized counseling through psychosocial support service points. More than 136,000 women and children benefited from violence prevention and response services. Through sensitization initiatives and hygiene messages, nearly 750,000 people are better equipped to respond to flooding and disease outbreaks in the Eastern states. The focus on preparedness and related actions helped to prevent further loss of life and ensured a timely response, reflecting the shift to a development-oriented context.