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Sudan: Floods - Operation update #3 - Emergency Appeal n°: MDRSD028

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To date, this Emergency Appeal, which seeks CHF 12,000,000, is approx. 43% funded. Further funding contributions are needed to enable the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, with support of IFRC and other Movement partners to continue with preparedness efforts and support to provide humanitarian assistance, protection, and livelihood to the affected people.


Description of the crisis

Heavy rainfalls which commenced in late July 2020, intensified during August and September. This intensification came at a time when the Blue Nile River from Ethiopia had swollen and burst its banks. The combination of the rains, flash floods, and swollen rivers caused flooding, destruction of infrastructure, health facilities, houses, both private and public buildings, agricultural lands and affected close to 900,000 people in 18 states across the country. The torrential rain and flooding were the worst ones recorded in the country in 30 years. The most affected states included, Blue Nile, Jezira, Khartoum, North Darfur, Red Sea, Sennar, and West Darfur; and have accounted for the majority of all people affected. Of the displaced families, many have been hosted by families’ neighbors, schools and public facilities or moved to temporary camps, some formal with services and other spontaneous near their residences.

Between July to October 2021, heavy rains and flooding affected over 92,100 people across 12 states, according to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). More than 13,042 homes were damaged and over 5,000 homes were destroyed. Most of the families affected by the heavy rain and flooding were forced to shelter with relatives and move to government buildings.

The health situation in Sudan has continued to deteriorate following the 2020 and 2021 flooding, due to stagnant and contaminated water. Damage caused to health clinics, hospitals, and latrines has elevated the risk of disease outbreaks on already weakened health systems. Within the affected states, diarrhoea, malaria, and skin infection are common causes of mortality among children, while malaria is a common cause of illness among adults.

In 2020, Sudan was confronted with Viral hemorrhagic Fever (VHFs), a polio outbreak, and as well as the increasing spread of Leishmaniasis (Kalazar) in Gedaref state. This has been in addition to the annual cycles of the outbreak of cholera, malaria, dengue, and chikungunya which are endemic. Sudan continues to face the health and socio- economic consequences of COVID-19. As of 1 February 2022, 58,208 people had tested positive for COVID, and 3,442 people have died from the disease. The COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate is among the highest in the world. COVID-The decline in the economy has severely affected all provision of basic services, including health services, with only 15% of essential drugs available in the country.

In many of the flooded locations, access to clean water has been limited. The water supply from boreholes has been affected by the overflow of the river and latrines have been destroyed, increasing the risk of water contamination and outbreak of waterborne diseases due to lack of latrines (resulting in open defecation) and contamination of water by faecal matter from flooded latrines.

On 25 October 2021, a military takeover occurred in Sudan, leading to the dissolution of the civil government. Following the military takeover, the magnitude of protests and demonstrations have escalated and created complete paralysis in services daily life, and weekly working days have been reduced to four days a week, due to closure of bridges, blocking of roads, and shutdown of internet services. Closure of main seaports and highways has led to shortages of imported supplies, while exacerbated increased inflation rates, with 30% increment rises for basic services such as electricity and water.

Consequently, the overall needs in Sudan have continued to grow with the Sudan Humanitarian Coordination Team indicating that the number of people in need is at the highest for 10 years, driven by the political crisis, economic situation, and exacerbated by COVID-19, protracted internal displacement and the unprecedented flooding in 2020 - 2021. These combining factors have led to a decreased ability of households to meet and access basic needs and services. At least 1.3 million people face emergency levels of acute food insecurity, and 5.8 million people are facing crisis-level of acute food insecurity.