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More than 7,000 displaced in Sudan’s Abu Kershola in need of aid

October 30 - 2016 KHARTOUM
People displaced by fighting in South Kordofan, 2011 (UN)
People displaced by fighting in South Kordofan, 2011 (UN)

Thousands of displaced people in Abu Kershola locality in South Kordofan, who fled their homes two years ago and have been displaced several times since then, are reportedly in need of humanitarian assistance.

In response to reports from the governmental Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that about 7,100 displaced people (1,106 families) in the locality are in dire need of aid, an inter-agency mission carried out a needs assessment among the displaced between 16 and 21 October.

The mission visited 12 villages and Abu Kershola town, and identified 4,400 displaced in need of humanitarian assistance. The mission members were unable to reach the remaining people, not only because of limited time, but also because the displaced are dispersed in small gatherings throughout the locality. They are presumed to be in need of humanitarian assistance owing to the number of times they have been displaced in recent years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports in its latest bulletin.

The main needs of the displaced are food and emergency household supplies, as well as access to health, water, sanitation and education services.

Recommendations from the mission include carrying out general food distributions in the villages assessed, carrying out a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screening, and opening nutrition centres in Hijeer village, and sending medication and micro-nutrient supplies to nutrition centres in Umbaraka, Kaling and Abu Kershola villages. As most of the displaced reportedly lost all their belongings when they fled their homes, the mission recommended distributing household kits, including blankets, plastic sheeting, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and jerry cans, to the displaced prior to the winter period.

About 10 per cent of the displaced have been provided with health insurance from the Ministry of Social Welfare, the OCHA bulletin reads.

Existing water sources will be rehabilitated, better sanitation practices will be taught at schools, and new sanitation structures will be built in areas of high displaced concentration In addition, educational supplies will be sent to schools in these areas and school-feeding programmes will be initiated to encourage more school children to enrol in school.

For protection concerns, the Social Welfare Ministry will create a gender-based violence working group in South Kordofan with the aim of raising awareness on the protection of women and children. Staff of the Ministry in Abu Kershola will be trained on providing psychosocial support, while HAC and Social Welfare staff will be trained on peace-building practices and displaced guiding principles.

According to the 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview an estimated 184,000 displaced people in South Kordofan are in need of humanitarian assistance.

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