Kassala State is located in eastern Sudan. It shares a border with Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east; Gedaref State to the south; Khartoum State to the west; River Nile State to the northwest; and Red Sea State to the north. Bani Aamer, Handandawa, Nuba, Rashaida, Shawigaa, Jaleen, Husa, and Halfaween are the major ethnic groups. Kassala is located in the livelihood Zone3 according to Sudan livelihood zonal classification, with annual rainfall less than 150 mm per annum on average between August-October.
Inter-tribal conflict, flooding, drought, disease outbreaks and economic inflation are the main drivers of humanitarians needs in Kassala. Over 108,000 refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia live in five refugee camps in the state. Kassala is a route for illegal human trafficking and migrant movement from Ethiopia and Eritrea to Europe.