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Assistance to new Jebel Marra displaced continues

May 22 - 2016 DARFUR
Jebal Marra displaced hide in mountain caves
Jebal Marra displaced hide in mountain caves

Humanitarian organisations continue to provide people displaced by hostilities between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) in the Jebel Marra with assistance despite funding challenges.

Tens of thousands of people fled their homes in the Jebel Marra area and sought refuge and assistance in various locations in North, Central and South Darfur. Aid agencies have initially used internal resources diverting funds from other programmes and activities to respond to the new needs.

According to the latest the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan’s latest Humanitarian Bulletin, after four months since the start of new Jebel Marra displacement, humanitarian partners and sectors are finding it difficult to continue to meet the needs with low levels of funding having been made available thus far.

Inter-communal tension affects response in Sortony, North Darfur

The tense security situation in Sortony, North Darfur over the past week has affected the delivery of humanitarian assistance and services to Jebel Marra IDPs on the ground. This follows attacks by armed groups on an IDP camp and the shooting at a nearby market. The attacks that took place on 9 May resulted in the killing of five people, including two children and the wounding of several individuals, including a UNAMID peacekeeper, according to a joint statement by the United Nations and African Union. Initial reports received indicated that the number of killed was six persons. UNAMID has been extensively involved in mediation and reconciliation efforts to stabilise the situation on the ground.

Water supply decreased as water trucking from Kebkabiya (52km away) was suspended for a few days due to the tense situation and safety concerns. Daily water supply ranged from 40,000 to 120,000 litres per day during the week, with water supplies being brought from a source in the nearby village of Kobi. To increase water supply, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) increased its water trucks fleet in Sortony to seven to collect water from Kobi rather than from Kebkabiya. In addition, the activities of health, nutrition facilities and child friendly spaces in Sortony were suspended for few days due to the tense situation.

IOM’s registration and verification process in Sortony, North Darfur remains suspended by authorities since mid-February. Advocacy by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) for the resumption of IOM’s registration and verification processes is continuing. Following a headcount exercise carried out in Sortony in March, WFP currently has 20,000 beneficiaries in Sortony receiving emergency food assistance. In Tawilla, the number of WFP beneficiaries is 31,000 people.

Funding for Jebel Marra displacement response in South Darfur

According to humanitarian partners in South Darfur, funding is required to respond to the needs of more than 16,000 Jebel Marra IDPs in the state. Major gaps have been reported in the provision of water, sanitation services and emergency shelter supplies.

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector in Sudan said in its Bulletin covering the period of January-April 2016 that WASH partners have received only 64 per cent of the required $4.5 million for the Jebel Marra crisis. As for the regular activities within the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, WASH partners have received only 12 per cent of the required funds.

Government committee for Jebel Marra displacement

According to the authorities in Central Darfur State, the Government of Sudan established a committee in response to the Jebel Marra displacement, with the State Minister at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security, heading the committee. This committee is expected to tackle the humanitarian situation in the Jebel Marra area. This indicates that the government response to humanitarian needs will be coordinated and managed from Khartoum. On 7 May, Vice-President of Sudan Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman chaired a meeting of the Government of Sudan's Higher Committee for support to Jebel Marra, according to the official SUNA news agency. The meeting discussed a plan for normalising the humanitarian situation in Jebel Marra villages. The State Minister at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security, Dr. Ibrahim Adam, said in a statement that the committee has developed a joint plan in coordination with all ministries to enable the newly displaced people to return their home villages and to provide agricultural tools and seeds, food and shelter to those in need.

About 25,000 new IDPs have been reported in various locations in Central Darfur, of whom about 4,300 have been registered. According to unconfirmed reports, between 40,000-90,000 people have been displaced in Boori, Wadi Boori and areas around Golo town. These reports cannot be verified due to lack of access.

(Source: OCHA Humanitarian Bulletin No. 20)

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