Approximately 40,000 people have been displaced since last December 28, as a result of a series of incidents between Massalit and Arab tribesmen in Sudan. The incidents have also increased inter-communal tensions in and around El Geneina town, state capital of West Darfur.
According to reports received, at least 54 people have been killed and 60 others injured.
Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and partners estimate that the 40,000 people displaced, include 32,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from three IDP camps (Krinding 1, 2, and Al Sultan IDP camps), and the rest from Kreding, Bab Al Jenan, Dar AlSalam, and Dar Alnaiem.
Already, 5,000 other people have crossed the border into Chad, seeking refuge in villages near the border with Sudan. At the moment, people have taken refuge in 19 buildings – including schools and government buildings – around El Geneina town.
The situation however, remains calm, and an agreement has been reached between local leaders from Arab and Massalit tribes stabilising the situation.
Initial assistance was provided by youth groups, national partners, the Zakat Chamber, HAC and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) among others, including tents, jerrycans, blankets, and some key food items such as sugar, tea, and olive oil.
On January 5 and 6, government officials from the Federal Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Social Development and Welfare together with the Resident Humanitarian Coordinator and representatives of World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF undertook a mission to El Geneina town.
The mission met with government authorities, including the Wali and HAC, the Sultan, Arab leaders, and people affected. Inter-sector coordination meetings are taking place in El Geneina, and an inter-agency assessment and a DTM registration are being planned to identify key needs and response.
El Geneina hospital is open, with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and health partners. Health clinics will be established in seven IDPs gathering points to respond to 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 healthcare for children under five years.
Other partners have confirmed the availability of drugs 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 (IEHK)—each kit can cover the health needs of 10,000 people for three months.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): There is an urgent need for sanitation services—especially latrines—in schools and IDP gathering points which are insufficient to meet the needs of the IDPs. 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 and jerry cans and hygiene dignity kits are enroute to El Geneina. Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) kits have also been delivered.
Food Security: WFP is targeting 18,000 people for general food distributions (GFD) and an additional 4,500 children under five years with food for one month. WFP will coordinate with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), SRCS and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to verify primary registration numbers to speed up emergency food distributions to affected IDPs at the gathering points.
Nutrition: WHO and the Ministry of Health are providing nutritional support to children and pregnant and lactating mothers. WFP—who had been providing nutritional services in Krinding IDP camp—will continue this support for the Krinding IDPs.
To address maternal and child health needs, UNICEF is supporting the health ministry with 700 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) and will support with transportation costs to deliver the supplies to where the displaced people are taking refuge.
Non-food items (NFIs): UNHCR and IOM have non-food items (NFI) 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 NFI kits. However, more NFI and shelter supplies are needed to ensure all affected people are assisted.
Protection: UNICEF is supporting the Youth Initiative for Support and Reunification of Children to establish five centers within the 23 displaced assembly points. In these centers, awareness sessions and collection of information on missing children will be carried out.
UNICEF is also working with the State Council for Child Welfare (SCCW) 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 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has sent a gender-based violence (GBV) coordinator to El Geneina to ensure that the key needs of women and girls, especially those pregnant, are met. The GBV coordinator will ensure the proper positioning and mainstreaming of GBV throughout the response.
- Reporting by Akanimo Sampson