Situation in Numbers
7.4 million children in need of humanitarian assistance
13.4 million people in need
1.4 million children Among 2.5m Internally displaced people (IDPs)
409,325 children Among 772,313 South Sudanese Refugees
• Low-cost solar hand pumps are providing water to 3000 people in remote parts of Kurmuk Locality (Blue Nile State) after years of inaccessibility due to conflict.
• Civil-conflict within Ethiopia creates fresh concerns that humanitarian needs will place further demands on Sudan.
Floods and storms have already caused damage to refugee camps and protection risks already critical.
• Over 810,000 people were vaccinated through the COVAX initiative. Priority was assigned to frontline health workers and those over 65 with health concerns, although this was widened to include other priority groups to ensure the available supplies were utilised.
UNICEF’s 2021 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal for Sudan requires $211 million to address the new and protracted humanitarian needs of the population. The prevailing political and economic fragility in Sudan is further complicated by the turmoil of the COVID-19 crisis. The HAC appeal will be updated in the third quarter to reflect the change in needs and context.
UNICEF Sudan would like to take this opportunity to express its sincere appreciation to the donors that continue supporting the humanitarian appeal in Sudan. In 2021, the humanitarian response has to date been supported by the European Union, the governments of Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the United States as well as by significant contributions from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF).
At the end of June 2021, UNICEF faced a $150,819,140 (72 percent) funding shortfall (aside from COVID-19 response requirements), curtailing relief efforts against flooding, disease outbreaks, conflict, and the nutrition crisis, and leaving education, health, child protection and WASH needs unaddressed.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
As Sudan continues the process of economic deregulation and political consolidation through 2021, the population remains gripped by economic hardship, communal conflict and epidemics.
In June, fuel subsidies were removed, opening supply availability, but pressuring those who are now unable to afford to keep vehicles running, and raising the cost of transportation. The deregulation of the exchange rate has, for now, slowed the depreciation of the value of the Sudanese pound in foreign exchange markets, no doubt steadied by announcements of debt relief and a $2.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The costs of living continues to increase as the economy adjusts, with the annual inflation rate reaching 412.75 percent in June and is yet to show indications of slowing. Supply scarcity of pharmaceuticals has caused prices to rise and black-market sales to increase, while intermittent disruptions to power supply remain a daily occurrence.
The second quarter has enjoyed relative political stability, with new Wali (Governors) appointments to the Blue Nile,
North Darfur and West Darfur occurring as expected as per the Juba Peace Agreement. The appointment of Minni Minawi as the Governor of Darfur is proving contentious amongst tribal groups and the five Darfur state’s leadership.
Protests against living conditions and the lack of economic opportunities continued with tensions building particularly around Eid-al-Fitr in May.
While the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Ethiopia has been the source of international tension, the event itself occurred without noticeable consequence due to the high amount of rain that fell during and after the filling period. Of greater concern to humanitarians in Sudan, is the deteriorating situation affecting the Tigray region and the high likelihood of ethnic conflict escalating as the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) gives way to Amhara civilian militia forces. Refugee cases have already been recorded crossing into southern Gedaref, from the Kemant ethnic group, fleeing conflict south of Tigray as the Amhara mobilise. The existing 46,000 registered Tigrayan refugees residing in camps in Gedaref remain a concern with the floods and storms already affecting refugee shelters, a growing risk from epidemics, and protection and trafficking issues mounting.
After renewed clashes in and around Geneina in April, the number of displaced people peaked at around 165,000 but has since reduced to 105,000 by the end of June, as people have returned to their homes. For those that remain displaced, WASH, food and shelter remain priorities as they shelter in schools, other public buildings, and open areas.
In North Darfur, there have been sporadic confrontations between rival factions including Sudan Liberation Movement/Army Abdulwahid Nur (SLM/A-AW) causing fresh displacement of residents into South and East Darfur. Tensions have been high as the UNAMID (UN-African Union Mission in Darfur) team sites are being turned over to Sudanese counterparts, and perceived responsibility for Security arrangements are transferred. Sortony camp, populated by SLM/A-AW aligned IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), has been a tension point as fears of reprisals and further violence in the absence of UNAMID has drawn SLM/A-AW to position troops around the vicinity as ostensible protection.
For the first time, communal conflict broke out in Blue Nile state and elsewhere have continued sporadically in various areas. South Kordofan in particular, West Kordofan, White Nile, Red Sea, South Darfur as well as the aforementioned areas in North and West Darfur, have all experienced incidents. While government authorities are generally quick to respond to these and calm situations, the recurrence remains a concern.
COVID-19 remains a persistent hazard with cases continuing to be reported, yet there is an implicit understanding that the vast majority of fatal cases do not get reported. In total there have been 37,138 confirmed cases and 2,776 deaths to 23 July 2021, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) (for the period April to June 2021, 4,509 cases and 550 deaths were reported). Port Sudan has experienced an unusual surge in cases in recent weeks, with the government considering stronger measures of containment. To date, very few hard countermeasures have been implemented at a population level, with economic rehabilitation taking priority. The first round of COVAX was completed in the second quarter with 810,498 doses administered, but significant challenges remain in public acceptance of vaccination.