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close this bookHumanitarian Assistance in Fiscal Year 2000 (Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, 2000, 64 p.)
close this folderSudan - Complex Emergency: Information Bulletin #1 (FY 2000)
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View the documentBackground
View the documentNumbers Affected
View the documentCurrent Situation
View the documentUSG Assistance

(introduction...)

Sep, 13, 2000

U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID)
BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)

Information Bulletin #1 Sep 13, Fiscal Year (FY)

Note: This information bulletin updates the Sudan situation report dated January 5, 2000.

Background

The current phase of Sudan’s civil war began in 1983 with fighting between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M). The war widened in 1991, when fighting erupted between SPLA factions in areas of the south. The civil war continues today, and civilians throughout the south and the transitional zone (i.e. southern Darfur, southern Kordofan, and southern Blue Nile areas) are directly affected by GOS aerial bombings and forced relocations due to fighting. The ongoing insecurity and population displacement have not only interrupted or destroyed most of the indigenous trading and production systems, but have also been major impediments to relief efforts. The United Nations (UN) and numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within and outside the framework of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) are delivering relief assistance by airlifts, airdrops, barges, and truck convoys. OLS has operated since 1989 under a tripartite agreement between the GOS, SPLA/M, and the UN providing for negotiated access. About 2 million people are estimated to have died in Sudan from fighting, famine, and disease since 1983. According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees, more than 70,000 civilians died of war-related causes in the first half of 1998 alone.

Numbers Affected

According to the UN Humanitarian Coordination Unit (UNHCU), there are an estimated 4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan, including 2 million in greater Khartoum and 1.2 million in the transitional zone and southern areas. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Sudanese refugees in the region include 175,000 in Uganda, 80,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 58,507 in Ethiopia, 32,000 in Kenya, 35,500 in the Central African Republic, and 20,000 refugees in Chad. Sudan also hosted refugees from other countries, including 147,302 Eritrean refugees registered in Sudan as of January, 2000. With the flare-up of fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea in May, 2000, another group of Eritrean refugees estimated at up to 90,000 people fled to eastern Sudan; of this group, an estimated 21,000 have now returned to Eritrea.

Current Situation

Renewed Fighting in Bahr el Ghazal: Fighting flared up in May between GOS and SPLA forces in Bahr el Ghazal Province in violation of a cease-fire in effect since 1998. The SPLA seized several key towns along the railway that supplies GOS-held garrison towns in Bahr el Ghazal. In reaction, the GOS dramatically intensified bombing. During the month of July, the GOS reportedly dropped 250 bombs during 33 separate incidents. GOS bombings reportedly targeted civilians overwhelmingly, and targeted OLS and ICRC relief aircraft as well. The targeting of the relief aircraft was unprecedented and violated an agreement by the GOS and SPLA/M under the 1989 tripartite accord not to target OLS operations. The bombings also came after an April 19 promise by the GOS to end its bombing campaign in the south. OLS flights were suspended after 18 bombs were dropped on August 7 in the vicinity of UN facilities at Mapel, and WFP announced August 9 that it was evacuating aid workers from the area due to the targeting of relief facilities there. ICRC and NGOs also curtailed activities in parts of Bahr el Ghazal as a result of the bombing campaign. The flight suspension continued until August 16, when flights resumed after the GOS provided renewed assurances that it would not target the operations.

On June 28, the U.S. Department of State expressed concern over continued cease-fire violations in Bahr el Ghazal by both the GOS and SPLA, warning that a spread of fighting could lead to a major new humanitarian crisis. The State Department called on the GOS and SPLA to cease all attacks and honor their humanitarian commitments. The Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) warned that a food crisis was imminent in southern Sudan because the bombing campaign was interfering with the food delivery operations of relief agencies. A July SPLA offensive in Bahr el Ghazal, including the seizure of towns in the northern part of the province and the blockage of a key GOS supply route, raised fears of substantial new displacement in the province.

Insecurity in Upper Nile: According to IRIN, the UN’s regional information network, more than 34,000 war-displaced have arrived in Bentiu and Rubkona, Upper Nile, since the beginning of July following a flare-up in fighting in the area. An estimated 19,000 people arrived in the last four days of July alone, according to IRIN. Action Contre la Faim (ACF) warned that these towns were facing a critical food shortage that was sharply worsened by the new IDP influx. A July 6 alert from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) reported that global malnutrition rates in Padeah, an isolated district in Western Upper Nile, were at 35 percent, and approximately half of these cases were severely malnourished. MSF also reported that conflict in Padeah had displaced nearly 75 percent of the population. The UN reported August 21 that WFP had started emergency food distributions to the new IDP arrivals Bentiu in Rubkona.

Constraints to assistance: In March, eleven NGOs were forced to withdraw from SPLM-administered areas of southern Sudan after refusing to sign a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) required by the SRRA, the humanitarian arm of the SPLM. Agencies expressed concern that signing the MOU would threaten their neutrality. However, most NGOs operating in the south signed the MOU, which was developed over several years in conjunction with NGOs and donors. After the SRRA sent a letter to OLS in Nairobi confirming that it upheld the OLS agreement, most of the NGOs that withdrew signed the MOU and resumed their operations. ECHO has not returned to supporting programs in SPLM areas, however, because of a policy precluding it from supporting any programs if any grantees are forced to withdraw.

A new set of stringent GOS requirements that mandate seven-day clearances for OLS flights, as opposed to the previous 48-day requirement, raised concern that OLS operations might be hindered. The lengthened clearance time was expected to make rapid responses to emergency needs more difficult. The GOS has also required that locations be cleared for specific aircraft, eliminating the ability to substitute aircraft if the need should arise due to problems such as mechanical difficulties.

Food security: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported in August that the food supply situation in Sudan was "stable in general," but noted that nearly 2.4 million people, mostly in the south, were dependent on food aid due to crop losses, civil strife-related displacements, and refugee influxes from the Ethiopia-Eritrea war. Concerns over low levels of cereal stocks and insufficient pledges in the WFP pipeline have been partially addressed by additional USAID contributions, according to USAID/FEWS. However, USAID/FEWS reported that shortfalls were still expected between August and December in the specific commodities of corn soy blend and salt.

Health and nutrition: On June 30, WHO reported that a rapid assessment in Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal, and Upper Nile had found that infectious diseases accounted for more than 75 percent of all reported illnesses, and that among these, malaria and diarrheal diseases are responsible for nearly 40 percent of all reported illnesses. WHO also reported that it received three epidemic alerts for malaria and acute diarrhea through its early warning network in June. MSF reported June 27 that Bieh state, in southeastern Upper Nile, has been struck by several severe health and nutritional problems. The state, which has an estimated population of 200,000, is experiencing a hunger period described by MSF as "exceptionally bad," and has also experienced a meningitis epidemic and a shigella outbreak. The global malnutrition rate in Bieh is 33.8 percent, with 7.7 percent of the cases among children considered severe. According to MSF, Bieh is without clean water or health services, except for two districts in which MSF is supporting several health centers. MSF is responding in the region with emergency health and nutrition interventions expected to continue into November.

Nuba mountains: In late September 1999, two joint UN-NGO teams completed an inter-agency assessment of humanitarian needs in the Nuba Mountains, Southern Kordofan State. The assessment findings, released in November 1999, predicted a food deficit from May - September 2000, as well as a chronic lack of agricultural inputs and depleted livestock assets. In July, two UN planes made the first officially-sanctioned relief flights to the SPLA/M-controlled area of the Nuba Mountains in more than a decade, according to CARE. The GOS, which under the terms of the agreement underlying OLS has veto power over OLS activities, has not allowed OLS flights into the area. Non-OLS agencies, including USAID/OFDA partners working in water and food security, are able to access the region through non-OLS air transport.

Inter-Ethnic Peace Process: A peace agreement signed in March 1999 between the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups in southern Sudan appears to be holding. A second inter-ethnic agreement was reached in May 2000 between the Anuyak, Dinka, Jie, Kachipo, Murle, and Nuer ethnic groups calling for an end to all traditional hostilities, respect for civilian populations, the return of abducted women and children, and freedom of movement. Inter-ethnic conflict within the south has been a major cause of humanitarian needs.

Refugee Returns: On July 14, the Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE), GOS, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement governing the return to Eritrea of an estimated 90,000 refugees that had been in Sudan since mid-May. The agreement provided for refugees to return with food, shelter, and household items, as well as for organized transport. Spontaneous returns began in mid-June, with approximately 5,000 persons leaving Sudan. As of August 9, UNHCR reported that more than 21,000 people had returned to Eritrea from Sudan.

USG Assistance

FY 2000 USAID/OFDA humanitarian assistance to date totals $21,908,202. USAID/OFDA assistance is channeled through 35 grants that address humanitarian needs in health, water/sanitation, food security, food distribution, agriculture, livelihoods, humanitarian transport, and general relief support. USAID/FFP and USDA have provided an estimated 84,650 metric tons (MT) of emergency food aid in FY 2000 to date, valued at $66,735,700. USAID’s Africa Bureau (AFR) has provided $1.7 million for the Sudan Transitional Assistance for Rehabilitation (STAR) program. State/PRM provided $3,391,327 in support for NGOs working with Sudanese refugees for FY 2000. State/PRM also provided UNHCR with a regional grant for Africa of $89.2 million, a portion of which goes to support for Sudanese refugees.

Agency

Partner

Sector

Region

Funding

USAID/OFDA

ACF

Health, water/sanitation

Wau

290,287


ACF

Health, water/sanitation

Juba

840,000


ACROSS

Health

Upper Nile

395,550


ADRA

Food security

Greater Khartoum

411,679


ADRA

Health

Upper Nile

830,072


ARC

Health

Equatoria

853,233


CARE

Health

Wau

79,040


CARE

Health, food security

Equatoria, Jonglei

599,784


CARE

Health

En Nahud

247,000


CARE

Health

Khartoum

1,520,000


CARE/SMC

Health

Jonglei

370,878


CMA

Health.

Up. Nile

496,006


Concern

Food sec.

Nuba, Bahr el Ghazal

737,186


CRS

Health, food security, water

Equatoria, Nuba

2,098,182


GOAL

Health

Kassala

321,272


GOAL

Health & nutrition

Malakal

322,180


GOAL

Health

Blue Nile, Bahr el Ghazal

750,000


IAS/MEDIC

Water

Bahr el Ghazal

222,000


IFRC

Health, sanitation

White Nile

21,000


IRC

Health

Aweil

219,244


IRC

Health, water/sanitation

Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile

2,247,763


IRC

Air operations

Countrywide

232,693


MEDAIR

Health

Upper Nile

313,074


NPA

Health

Equatoria

150,835


NPA

IDP repatriation

Equatoria, Jonglei

711,000


NPA

Food security

Equatoria

1,485,522


SCF/UK

Seeds & Tools, IDP support

Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile

510,586


SCF/US

Health

S. Kordofan

763,319


UNICEF

Seeds

Equatoria

300,000


UNICEF

General relief activities - OLS

Countrywide

1,950,000


UNICEF

Health/nutrition

Wau

318,266


VSF/B

Animal health

Upper Nile

260,000


VSF/G

Animal health

Bahr el Ghazal

189,950


VSF/G

Animal health

Bahr el Ghazal

192,800


Other

Nongrant Support Costs


657,801

USAID/OFDA

TOTAL



$21,908,202

USAID/FFP

TOTAL

23,250 MT food commodities


$23,235,700

USDA

TOTAL

61,400 MT food commodities


$43,500,000

USAID/AFR

TOTAL

Support for STAR program


$1,707,000

State/PRM

TOTAL



$3,391,327

TOTAL USG




$93,742,229

NOTE: USAID/OFDA bulletins can be obtained from the USAID web site at http://www.usaid.gov/hum_response/ofda/situation.html