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OCHA Sudan: Humanitarian aid for new displaced in West Darfur

Newly displaced arrive at Sortony camp in North Darfur after their village was attacked by militiamen the day before, January 2, 2020 (RD)
Newly displaced arrive at Sortony camp in North Darfur after their village was attacked by militiamen the day before, January 2, 2020 (RD)

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, says in latest Situation Report that at least 54 people have been killed, and 60 others injured in the recent violence in and around El Geneina, capital of West Darfur. The Sudanese government and international organisations have assessed the situation and began offering assistance.  A youth activist reported to Radio Dabanga that the new displaced are suffering from a lack of food, shelter, and health services.

The newly displaced people were living in the Kerending camps 1 and 2, and El Sultan camp, in the villages of Kerending, Bab El Jenan, Dar El Salam, and Dar El Naeem.

Approximately 5,000 people have crossed the border into Chad, seeking refuge in villages near the border with Sudan, OCHA reports.

Currently, people have taken refuge in 19 buildings –including schools and government buildings– around El Geneina town. The situation remains calm, and an agreement has been reached between local leaders from Arab and Masalit tribes stabilising the situation.

Initial assistance was provided by youth groups, national partners, the Zakat [Muslim alms] Chamber, HAC, and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) among others. The aid included tents, jerrycans, blankets, and some key food items such as sugar, tea, and olive oil, OCHA states.

On January 5 and 6, government officials from the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Social Development and Welfare, together with the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, and representatives of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) undertook a mission to El Geneina.

The mission met with government authorities, including the Wali (state governor) and HAC, the Sultan of the Masalit, Arab leaders, and a number of people affected.

Inter-sector coordination meetings are taking place in the West Darfur capital, and an inter-agency assessment and a DTM registration are being planned to identify key needs and response.

More health clinics

El Geneina Hospital is open, with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and health partners, OCHA states. Health clinics will be established in seven gathering points for the displaced people to respond to their health needs.

The Ministry of Health and WHO have confirmed they have enough medical stock to support those in need. However, there is a gap for the provision of health care for children under 5 years.

Other partners have confirmed the availability of medicines to support the Ministry of Health. The UN Children’s Agency (Unicef) has provided El Geneina Hospital with malaria kits, and 15 inter-agency emergency health kits.


As for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), there is an urgent need for sanitation services—especially latrines—in schools and gathering points.

The public water system cannot meet the increasing needs due to the lack of fuel to operate generators needed to operate the water pumps. In response, Unicef and partners have provided three water tanks for water trucking and are supporting the distribution of soap and collection of waste from displacement sites.

To address sanitation needs Unicef is supporting the construction of latrines in targeted areas. Jerry cans and hygiene dignity kits are on their way to El Geneina. Acute watery diarrhoea kits have also been delivered.

Food and other relief items

The World Food Programme (WFP) will target 18,000 people for general food distributions and an additional 4,500 children under five years with food for one month. WFP will coordinate with IOM, SRCS and UNHCR to verify primary registration numbers to speed up emergency food distributions to affected displaced people at the gathering points.

WHO and the Ministry of Health are providing nutritional support to children, and pregnant and lactating mothers. To address maternal and child health needs, Unicef is supporting the Health Ministry with 700 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food and will support with transportation costs to deliver the supplies to where displaced people are taking refuge.

UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have non-food items stocks available for immediately distribution. These include 1,900 jerry cans, 1,500 mosquito nets, 1,100 kitchen sets, 1,000 plastic sheets, 3,000 blankets, soap, and sleeping mats. Additionally, 4,000 people can immediately receive full kits. However, more supplies are needed to ensure all affected people are assisted.

Missing children

Unicef is supporting the Youth Initiative for Support and Reunification of Children to establish five centres within the 23 displaced assembly points.

In these centres, awareness sessions and collection of information on missing children will be carried out. Unicef is also working with the State Council for Child Welfare as well as international and national partners to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable children in El Geneina–mainly newly displaced children and those who are separated or unaccompanied. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has sent a gender-based violence coordinator to El Geneina to ensure that the key needs of women and girls, especially those pregnant, are met.


Abdelwahab Mohamed, one of the youth officials of Kerending camp that was torched during the attacks, told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that about 98 percent of the camp residents, totalling approximately 61,000 people, fled to El Geneina.

The new displaced, who were distributed over 26 shelters including schools and government institutions, are suffering from a lack of food, shelter, and health services.

Residents of El Geneina provided them with food. Assistance provided by international agencies was distributed to the most vulnerable, Mohamed said.


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