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Sudan OCHA bulletin 21: Measles campaign concludes, UNHAS flights to Sortony

May 30 - 2016 KHARTOUM

A sub-national measles campaign is targeting more than 4 million children in five states of Sudan from 22 - 30 May 2016. South Sudanese continue to arrive in Sudan as a result of conflict-related issues. UNHAS announces provisional direct flights between El Fasher and Sortony, North Darfur, and an inter-agency mission to the Anka area in North Darfur has reported that 15,000 people in the area need assistance, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports in its weekly bulletin.

Measles vaccination campaign starts in five states

On 22 May, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Sudan, the World Health Organizaton (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a sub-national measles campaign in six states – Blue Nile, North Kordofan, South Kordofan, White Nile, and Sennar – targeting more than 4 million children aged from 6 months to 15 years. The campaign ran until 30 May and covered the new South Sudanese arrivals in these states as well.

The campaign is complementary to the campaigns implemented in 2015 that covered ten states when 9.5 million children were vaccinated. The vaccination campaign has already been completed in West Kordofan State where 728,586 children were vaccinated against measles, indicating coverage of 99 per cent of the target.

The effect of the previous campaign is a reduction of measles cases compared to the same period of the last year. In 2015, up to week 19 there were 2,498 confirmed measles cases and 38 deaths compared to 1,073 confirmed cases and 10 deaths reported this year by the end of the week 19 (13 May 2016), according to the MoH.

South Sudanese continue to arrive in Sudan

South Sudanese continue to arrive in Sudan as a result of conflict and deteriorating food security conditions in South Sudan. As of 22 May 2016, about 69,000 people are estimated to have arrived in various states in Sudan since January. East Darfur is hosting close to 46,000 people representing 66 per cent of all the new arrivals in 2016. An additional 5,324 people have arrived in Bileil camp in South Darfur and have been registered by Sudan’s Commissioner of Refugees (COR).

In West Kordofan, 7,241 arrivals have been reported by the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC); and in White Nile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) have registered over 9,000 since the beginning of 2016 (please see the table on page 2 for details).

According to UNHCR’s latest update on 12 May, 226,950 South Sudanese arrived in Sudan since December 2013. While the number of new South Sudanese arrivals in Sudan in 2016 is 75 per cent more than 39,622 arrivals registered by UNHCR during the same period last year, the level of funding provided is significantly lower. 

About 380 South Sudanese arrivals were reported by SRCS in Khor Omer camp in Ed Daein, capital of East Darfur State, over the past week. As of 22 May, there are 28,500 South Sudanese in Khor Omer who arrived since February 2016. The rate of arrivals during the past few weeks in Khor Omer has continued to decrease compared to March and April, according to the data provided by SRCS and IOM. 

De facto expulsion of Head of OCHA Sudan

On 22 May, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Sudan expressed shock and disappointment at the de facto expulsion by the Government of Sudan of Mr. Ivo Freijsen, the Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the country. The HCT is the highest-level decision-making forum of the InterAgency Steering Committee (IASC) structures in Sudan and is the primary mechanism for coordination among UN agencies and NGOs.

UNHAS to start operating flights to Sortony from El Fasher

On 22 May 2016, the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) conducted a recce flight to Sortony, North Darfur and found the helipad in the area suitable for flights. As a result, UNHAS air operations to Sortony are now open and the provisional schedule includes direct El Fasher-Sortony-El Fasher flights on Sundays and Mondays. The UNHAS official flight schedule to Sortony will be made available in coming days.

In Sortony, there are an estimated 22,600 Jebel Marra IDPs receiving food assistance from WFP, non-food supplies and basic services. They have sought protection and assistance near the UNAMID base in the area since February 2016. Sortony is 52km south of Kebkabiya. An overland journey trip from Kebkabiya to Sortony can take up to six hours due to poor roads and difficult terrain. 

Inter-agency mission to the Anka area, North Darfur

Between 11 and 16 May, HAC and OCHA led an inter-agency assessment mission to Birdik, Anka, and Um Rai villages in North Darfur. The mission’s objective was to assess the humanitarian needs of an estimated 10,000 people reportedly affected by attacks by armed militiamen on 2-3 December 2015 on a number of villages, including Anka, in Kutum locality. The mission comprised of representatives of government entities, UN agencies and NGOs.

The mission found out that an estimated 15,000 individuals had been affected as a result of attacks on the above mentioned areas. Their livelihoods were destroyed during the attacks, and reportedly 19 villages were either completely or partially burnt down.

Read the complete report here

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