Sudan is home to 14.5 million vulnerable people enduring inter-communal violence, flooding and epidemics including COVID-19, and remains under protracted pressure from conflict, economic hardship and nutritional deprivation. Institutions remain weak and unable to provide life-saving services to those displaced or affected.
The 25 October military coup and ensuing violence could lead to a resurgence of political instability and unrest, with potentially significant implications for the country’s democratic transition, economic development and prospects for a comprehensive and lasting peace.
UNICEF remains committed to a rights-based approach to fulfilling the needs of the most vulnerable children and their communities. Humanitarian contributions that incorporate development and peacebuilding approaches are key to delivering sustainable solutions to support the Government and its people as they go through this difficult period.
UNICEF requires US$270 million to break the cycle of vulnerability, delivering key health services to prevent and resolve epidemics such as measles and COVID-19, prevent the long-term detriments of malnutrition, improve water and sanitation access, educate the next generation of Sudanese and protect children from the risks threatening their well-being.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
Currently, Sudan is struggling to meet its obligation to support the children that call it home. While rapid-onset emergencies such as floods, conflicts in the west (Darfur) and the south (South Kordofan/Blue Nile States) and epidemics (COVID-19, cholera, measles, viral hemorrhagic fevers, etc.) continue to draw attention, the exposure to prolonged crises such as conflict-driven displacement, economic deprivation (inflation and over-reliance on unaffordable subsidies), malnutrition and failing service infrastructure traps people and children in a perpetuating cycle of need. In 2021, each of the 18 states has been beset by one crisis or another and this trend will continue into 2022.
Most of the 14.5 million people in need, including almost 8 million children, will remain unreached without adequate resources. Political stability since the 2019 revolution has allowed steps toward economic recovery and internal peace. Since 25 October 2021, new uncertainties have emerged; however, a political agreement was signed reinstating the Prime Minister on 21 November with hopes for renewed stability.
The transitional Government still lacks revenue, battling crippling inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic, and struggling to implement the rule of law. Regional turmoil is likely to trigger further refugee crises beyond the 55,785 Ethiopian refugees and 784,860 South Sudanese refugees that are among the 1.1 million refugees already hosted. Internally, 3 million IDPs in camps are awaiting resolution to current and past conflict, and solutions that span the peace, development and humanitarian spheres. Sudan remains a junction for irregular migration12 and must reckon with both new and old internal complexities.13 For vulnerable infants living through prolonged crises and emergencies, this means 1 out of every 18 will not reach their fifth birthday14 and one in seven will not have enough food to prevent wasting and stunting.15 Waterborne diseases such as cholera remain a risk due to unsafe drinking water. Even before COVID-19, 36.5 per cent of children were out of school, dispossessing young Sudanese of education, the safety of the schoolyard and school feeding.16 For the community that raises the child, epidemics are a constant threat while healthcare is inadequate, and water and sanitation inaccessible.17 Conflict and insecurity increases forced recruitment and association with armed groups, creating physical and mental distress for all gender and age groups.18 Crises leave women more vulnerable to genderbased violence and negative social norms leave girls at risk of harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and restricted education. Community structures are ill-prepared to mitigate the risks of floods and conflict. Social welfare does not reach deep enough to provide necessities for those worst affected by economic troubles.