Sudan OCHA bulletin 47: 4 million children receive polio vaccination

More than 4 million children under five years have received the polio vaccination and a vitamin A supplement through the Sudan national immunisation campaign conducted from 2 to 4 November, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reports in its latest weekly bulletin.

More than 4 million children under five years have received the polio vaccination and a vitamin A supplement through the Sudan national immunisation campaign conducted from 2 to 4 November, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reports in its latest weekly bulletin.

The campaign was conducted in all 18 states in the country with the aim of strengthening immunity against the polio virus. The last polio case in Sudan was reported in March 2009 and since then it has been polio free, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Sudan is considered at risk of the wild polio virus because large numbers of people -including internally displaced people and refugees- are moving throughout the country. WHO works with Sudan's Expanded Programme on Immunisation to support the campaign. The campaign however, has not reached all children in the country. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, an estimated 162,000 children under 5 years living in areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) have not had access to routine vaccinations since fighting erupted in 2011, leaving them at risk of contracting easily preventable diseases.

Humanitarian actors are also increasingly concerned about not being able to reach people in need in the two war-torn states.

El Niño's effect on livestock

Findings from a recent Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) livestock assessment conducted in 72 localities found that below-average rainfall between June-October across many of Sudan’s traditional rain-fed areas has resulted in limited pasture and water availability and an increased risk of animal diseases.

The FAO assessment has found that smallholder pastoral families in Darfur, West and South Kordofan, Kassala, Red Sea and Gedaref states, who rely on livestock for their food and income, are among those at greatest risk of livestock losses owing to El Niño weather patterns.

In response, FAO is seeking $4 million to assist 92,000 families (about 520,000 people) in Sudan who are facing increased risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. With these funds, families will be provided with animal feed, water access, and vaccination and treatment services to enable them to keep their animals healthy and ensure that families have access to meat and milk during the winter season.

About 31,000 people affected by floods in 2015

According to the governmental Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), an estimated 31,000 people have been affected by floods in 11 states so far in 2015. This is much less than the 277,000 and 500,000 people affected in 2014 and 2013 respectively, mainly because of the low rainfall this season and government mitigation efforts including the rehabilitation and building of drainage systems, building of dams, and ensuing the proper implementation of construction codes. The most affected states are South, East, and Central Darfur in the west, and Red Sea, Sennar, and Blue Nile states in eastern Sudan.

Health, food and water and sanitation assistance has been provided to about 12,300 flood-affected vulnerable people. According to HAC, if floods affect fewer than 2,000 families in the state then state authorities should respond to the needs of flood-affected people; if over 2,000 families are affected, HAC federal will support response efforts.

Combating child marriage

The 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls is taking place from 25 November to 10 December worldwide. This year the national theme in Sudan will be “combating child marriage and promoting girls’ education”. The campaign was launched by the Ministry of Social Welfare’s (MoSW) Combating of Violence Against Women (CVAW) Unit together with UN agencies, government authorities and NGOs.

The campaign aims to raise awareness on child marriage and gender-based violence among school and university students, police officers, local communities, youth groups, local authorities, women’s groups and the media. According to the 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), two in five women in Sudan marry before the age of 18.

5,900 South Sudanese arrived in South Kordofan between July-September

Findings of an inter-agency mission conducted from 8-18 November to South Kordofan’s El Leri and Abu Jubaiha localities have identified an estimated 5,900 new refugee arrivals.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are about 24,400 South Sudanese refugees in South Kordofan. Poor road conditions prevented the mission from assessing the needs of these people earlier. The main needs identified were food, adequate drinking water, as well as sanitation and health services.

The new refugees were being hosted by the refugees who had arrived earlier. This has led to the depletion of their food stores more quickly. WFP is planning for immediate food distribution, as the last food distribution was in October 2015. WHO will discuss with relevant authorities regarding establishing permanent clinics in areas where the refugees have settled.

Central Darfur sets up committees to mitigate farmers-herders conflicts

Because of low rainfall this year, the Central Darfur government expects poor harvests and grazing lands, which could lead to possible conflict between farmers and herders as the latter search for pasture for their livestock. The pastoralists' annual migration from North Darfur to Central Darfur has started early this year, before farmers had time to harvest their crops. This may lead to conflict especially in Zalingei, Jebel Marra, Wadi Salih and Mukjar localities. To mitigate conflict the Central Darfur authorities have formed two committees of representatives of traditional leaders, farmers and nomad unions.

1,400 returnees in West Darfur need assistance

An estimated 1,400 returnees to Shushta village in West Darfur’s Beida locality are in need of protection, shelter and food assistance, according to findings of an inter-agency mission to the village from 15-19 November.

These people reportedly fled the village and took refuge in Arara village and Beida town in June 2015 following inter-tribal conflict in the area. According to the returnees, food is one of their main needs as they missed the agricultural season as a result of their displacement.

No humanitarian assistance has been provided to these displaced people because of access constraints. Aid organisations are currently meeting to plan the response.

Read the full bulletin here