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Sudan OCHA bulletin 37: FAO receives grant from Italy

September 17 - 2015 KHARTOUM

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its bulletin this week that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) received a €600,000 grant from the Government of Italy. Two aid organisations serving communities in and around South Darfur’s Dereig camp for displaced people have secured funding from WHO to resume operations until the end of 2015, but funding shortfalls still affect health services in the state. Meanwhile, an estimated 9,000 displaced people have returned to their homes in North Darfur’s Tawilla locality.

The grant from Italy will be used in malnutrition interventions among rural families in Kassala and Red Sea states. This 'Integrated Food Security and Livelihoods Project' is expected to target 45,000 people from four localities in the two states (Telkok and Rural Aroma localities in Kassala state and Sinkat and Dordeb localities in Red Sea State), all of which have the highest rates of malnutrition in Sudan. The global acute malnutrition rates in Kassala and Red Sea states are 15.2 and 20.2 percent respectively, both of which exceed the emergency threshold of 15 percent, according to the FAO. The two states also have stunting levels classified as very high and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) classified as above the crisis level. In Red Sea State, nearly 30 per cent of mothers of children 0-5 years are under-nourished.

Funding falls short in South Darfur

A national aid organisation in South Darfur, the only health operator in Um Dafug locality, is affected by funding constraints. Funding for its health clinics in Um Dafug town and Otash camp will run out by 30 September. 

Rufieda Health Foundation (RHF) provides services to an estimated 16,499 displaced people and returnees and the host community. RHF is one of three health providers serving Otash camp, home to some 90,440 displaced people. Should additional funding from the World Health Organization (WHO) not be secured, no other partner is available to take over health services in Um Dafug locality, OCHA reports. In Otash camp, clinics operated by World Vision International (WVI) and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) could absorb some of RHF’s services. 

Two aid organisations serving communities in and around South Darfur’s Dereig camp have secured funding from WHO to resume operations until the end of 2015. In late August 2015, the international NGO Patient Helping Fund (PHF) and national NGO National Initiative for Development Organization (NIDO) reported that funding shortfalls had forced them to suspend health operations in their respective clinics. The funding from WHO will allow both organisations to continue services again from 1 October until the end of the year.

Thousands of displaced return to Tawila

An estimated 9,000 displaced people who have returned to their homes in North Darfur’s Tawilla locality - mainly in the Katur area (7,250) and in Gosdor (1,500) and Timoa (200) villages in Mertal area - are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, according to the findings of a recent inter-agency mission from 2-9 September. These people had taken refuge in camps in Tawilla locality following fighting between government forces and armed groups earlier this year.

These people have returned to cultivate their land and are willing to remain if the security situation improves, according to the community leaders. The Katur area hosts about 29,000 people and aid organizations have not been able to access the area since 2011 due to insecurity.

Two killed in ambush on aid workers

On 8 September, unidentified gunmen ambushed a vehicle carrying State Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) representatives in West Darfur, killing a security official and the health ministry driver. The attack took place about 40km from El Geneina in Kereinik locality as the aid workers were returning from a routine mission as part of an ongoing assessment throughout Darfur, to ascertain whether guinea-worm disease (dracunculiasis) is still present in Sudan. The UN has condemned the attack.

Since January 2015, there have been 131 security incidents in Darfur that have affected humanitarian workers and peacekeepers, including abductions, armed attacks, car jackings and crime. Kereinik locality hosts about 80,000 displaced people, in three main camps. It is one of the localities in West Darfur with the greatest humanitarian needs. 

3 million children out of school

Over 3.1 million of Sudan’s 7.9 million school-aged children (between 5 and 13 years) in Sudan are out of school, which is the highest rate in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a report. Sudan’s first 'Out-of-School Children Report', released 10 September by the Ministry of Education, with the support of the UN Children’s Agency (Unicef) and the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), outlined that the majority of the out-of-school children are from nomadic communities as well as rural and conflictaffected areas. The Education Minister of Sudan has affirmed its intent to address the issue.

Read the full bulletin here

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