Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- There are over 9.3 million people enduring complex, intersecting challenges in Sudan. The economic crisis is causing widespread malnutrition; lapses in the rule of law are allowing ethnic tensions to erupt into violence; flooding remains life-threatening; and diseases, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), cholera, polio and chikungunya, remain prevalent.
- UNICEF will use a rights-based approach to protect and empower vulnerable children, adolescents, women and people with disabilities. Critical, life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, nutrition, health and child protection services will be integrated, coordinated and COVID-19-safe to ensure their comprehensive delivery to communities across the country.
- UNICEF urgently requires US$199.3 million to address the needs of vulnerable populations and help shape the futures of 5.4 million Sudanese children in need. Lack of resources for these interventions will mean the further erosion of already fragile health, education and WASH systems and community structures in Sudan.
Key planned results for 2021
330,000 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
2.8 million people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
203,200 women and children accessing gender-based violence risk mitigation/ prevention/response
288 schools implementing safe school protocols
Funding requirements for 2021
Country needs and strategy
People in Sudan remain extremely vulnerable to emergencies. Deepening poverty is causing widespread malnutrition; lapses in the rule of law are allowing ethnic tensions to erupt into violence; flooding and disease outbreaks are destroying lives and livelihoods; and education interruptions in 2019 and 2020 have left 13 million children out of school. COVID-19 and related mitigation measures are further complicating these existing challenges.
These hardships are threatening people's lives, denying children – particularly girls – access toan education, creating serious protection risks and giving rise to violations and abuse, including gender-based violence. Past conflicts in Sudan and neighbouring countries have left thousands of people internally displaced or living as refugees and without basic support, in and outside of camps.
While the recent steps taken towards securing peace have opened the possibility of humanitarian assistance in previously inaccessible areas in Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile, humanitarian needs remain high: 9.3 million people, including 5.4 million children, will require humanitarian assistance in 2021. In addition to the violence, flooding and disease outbreaks, populations are affected by the economic turmoil that has undermined livelihoods and increased vulnerabilities across the country. Annual inflation reached 168 per cent in August 2020 and the middle class is shrinking. Sudan’s food and nutritional security are eroding, deepening a crisis already affecting 14 per cent of the population. Over 574,000 children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and the operational costs of reaching these children are rising.
Sudanese communities are affected by regular outbreaks of diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, measles, polio, cholera and, since March 2020, COVID-19. Poor infrastructure, meager resourcing and humble capacities have stretched the fragile health system. Rural people are particularly affected due to heightened economic vulnerability and food and nutrition insecurity. The arrival of COVID-19 has exposed these vulnerabilities, with nearly 14,000 reported cases, over 800 heaths, and a disproportionately high case fatality rate outside of Khartoum.
As of October 2020, 1.9 million people, including 1.6 million children, are displaced due to conflict and ethnic violence in Darfur, Kordofan and Eastern states. While peace agreements mark political progress, deep communal tensions can quickly ignite into deadly violence. Sudan also hosts 1.1 million refugees fleeing strife from surrounding countries. Over 813,000 of these refugees are from South Sudan, including 560,000 living outside of camps in host communities.
UNICEF emphasizes protecting and empowering vulnerable children, adolescents, women and people with disabilities in Sudan. In line with the Grand Bargain commitments, UNICEF will work with humanitarian and development actors, including United Nations agencies, government counterparts, non-government partners and communities in 15 states across the country to deliver a coordinated humanitarian response.
UNICEF leads the WASH, education and nutrition sectors and the child protection area of responsibility and is an active member of the health cluster and the gender-based violence sub-sector. UNICEF also leads two pillars in the inter-agency COVID-19 response: risk communication and community engagement and infection prevention and control.
In 2021, UNICEF will mainstream child-centred planning and gender-responsive emergency preparedness into national planning. Partners will be supported to reach crisis-affected children and integrate gender-based violence risk mitigation, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and youth engagement across all programmes. UNICEF will continue to provide specialized protection services and critical psychosocial support for at-risk children and caregivers.
UNICEF will advocate for accelerated and flexible access to quality learning for 2.9 million out-of-school and crisis-affected children, and support families and parent-teacher associations with financial assistance, learning supplies and recreational materials. UNICEF will also prioritize COVID-19-related improvements to WASH infrastructure, water availability in schools and the implementation of the Safe Schools Protocols.
In health, UNICEF will continue to strengthen and maintain health systems, provide essential maternal, newborn and child health services in emergencies, respond to epidemics and deliver critical vaccinations to prevent outbreaks of measles and polio.
In collaboration with nutrition sector partners, UNICEF will scale up life-saving interventions by expanding outpatient treatment centres and infant and young child feeding counselling services in compliance with COVID-19 guidance. High-impact health and WASH interventions will be integrated to address the underlying causes of malnutrition.
Schools and health facilities will be supported with safe water and healthy sanitation. Positive hygiene practices will be promoted through community mobilization and awareness-raising activities. Integrated WASH interventions will strengthen communities and children's environments, building resilience against COVID-19, water- and mosquito-borne diseases and associated protection risks.
Community engagement and positive behaviour change ensure UNICEF’s humanitarian efficacy, relevance and accountability. Cash transfer programmes, peacebuilding and development initiatives will confront chronic causes of humanitarian need, particularly among internally displaced persons and refugees living outside of camps. All activities will emphasize accountability to affected populations, protection and gender and environmental considerations.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Sudan; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.