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Sudan OCHA bulletin 4: Thousands flee Darfur's Jebel Marra

January 30 - 2016 KHARTOUM

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports in its latest weekly bulletin that people in the Jebel Marra area continue to flee the fighting between government forces and armed movements. The newly displaced are taking refuge in North and Central Darfur states, according to aid organisations and Unamid.

More than 12,000 people were estimated to have been displaced by 24 January since the conflict began on 15 January. In Central Darfur, OCHA and partners have prepared a contingency plan to provide food, nutrition, water, and sanitation for up to 70,000 people. Stock of emergency shelter and household supplies need to be replenished.

In North Darfur’s Kabkabiya locality, about 8,400 displaced people have taken refuge near the Unamid team site in Sortony. They reportedly came from Tui, Korambe, Samra, Burgukiry, Bersi, Sura, Fatah, Birgel, Kaguro, and Niortolo villages, and are staying out in the open and are in need of shelter, food, water and sanitation, and health assistance. As there are no humanitarian actors in the area, Unamid is providing the displaced people with about 6,000 litres of water per day and medical aid. About 500 people (104 families) have arrived in Kabkabiya town from Berdy village.

In Tawila locality, some 3,000 newly displaced took refuge in Rwanda camp and 200 in Argo camp. They reportedly came from the villages of Kaguro, Borgo, Kosa, Basa, Buri, Hillet Fata, and Dadi, and are in need of food, emergency shelter and household supplies. They said that more people would arrive in the coming days. The locality commissioner will allocate land for them close to their current location.

Aid organisations have started providing nutrition assistance to the newly displaced children and health services for those displaced in need.

Central Darfur aid organisations in Nierteti received reports that conflict-affected people have started to arrive in the town from the villages of Boldon, Kaninga and Kutrum in the rebel controlled areas. The newly displaced reported that there are many people trapped in the Jebel Marra area and are unable to flee because of continuing hostilities. A number of people have reportedly fled into the mountains and are taking refuge in caves.

As soon as the hostilities subside, more people are expected to arrive in Nierteti town. OCHA has sent in a request to the government Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) to carry out an inter-agency need assessment amongst new arrivals in the town.

The UN Children’s Agency (Unicef) plans to pre-position a three months’ supply of nutrition, education as well as water and sanitation items in Nierteti and Guldo to meet the needs of new displaced.

Returnees in Labado, East Darfur, need aid

Unicef, the East Darfur Ministry of Health and the government’s Water and Sanitation Department (WES) visited Labado in East Darfur on 17-21 January to monitor the health, nutrition, water and sanitation situation in the returnee village.

An estimated 13,700 people returned to Labado village between September and November last year. They had fled fighting between government forces and an armed movement in the area in April 2013, and taken refuge near the Unamid team site 2.5km away.

According to the mission findings, the returnees are still in need of basic services. If the two boreholes in the village are provided with generators, they can help in filling the gap in water needs. The state Ministry of Health took over the Outpatient Therapeutic Feeding Programme from the international NGO Tearfund that was instructed to to exit the country on 13 January.

The Ministry and the World Health Organisation (WFP) are making arrangements to restart the Therapeutic Supplementary Feeding Programme. Unicef and the state Ministry of Education are identifying what school supplies are needed.

El Niño could affect 4.2 million Sudanese

On 22 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued its El Niño and Health: Global Overview report.

The El Niño phenomenon affects rainfall patterns and temperatures in many parts of the globe, with significant impacts on human health. In Sudan, due to the drier-than-normal conditions, deterioration of the already unstable food security situation is expected, and could affect up to 4.2 million people in 2016.

A significant fall in food availability and rise in food insecurity and malnutrition is expected for vulnerable populations, especially among small-scale farmers and pastoralists, who comprise the bulk of Sudan’s rural poor, the WHO report alerted. An increase in acutely malnourished children is reported with subsequent increased risk of infectious diseases amongst those affected.

Sudan is particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks and is currently undergoing prolonged measles and dengue outbreaks. Changes in the pattern of vectors caused by El Niño could further lead to an increase in vector-borne diseases such as malaria and viral haemorrhagic fevers endemic in Sudan. It is likely that decreased water quantity and quality will lead to an increased incidence of water-borne diseases such as cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases.

Food price hikes

The most recent Food Assistance Outlook Brief for the period of January-July 2016 by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fews Net) states that needs will be higher than usual for households affected by persistent conflict in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur.

Needs will also be unusually high for very poor households in areas where the rainy season was very dry, particularly in parts of North and South Kordofan, eastern Sudan, and North Darfur, according to Fews Net.

Delayed and inconsistent rains in some parts of Sudan during the rainy season and subsequent poorer harvests have led to huge price increases for the main food commodities in the affected areas.

The 13,914 Nuba displaced sheltering in North Kordofan’s Um Ruwaba locality are seriously hit by the price hikes. They fled the fighting in Abu Kershola and in El Abbasiya in South Kordofan from 2013 onwards, and are struggling to meet their needs. While the displaced received limited assistance from international aid organisations in 2014, they have not received any assistance in 2015, according to the Sudanese NGO El Salam Organisation for Rehabilitation and Development (AORD).

Water assistance in West Kordofan

Aid organisations are responding to the water needs of an estimated 8,300 refugees in West Kordofan’s Kharasana site. The national NGO ASSIST is daily providing 6,400 litres of water per day. Aid organisations plan to drill and equip a water yard in the camp to provide a sustainable solution to the water problem.

Read the full OCHA bulletin here


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