© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-0862/Cranston

A girl attends class in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan. UNICEF continues to focus on improving education access in Southern Sudan, while supporting ongoing relief for 4.7 million people affected by conflict in the Darfur Region.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

There are currently an estimated 4.7 million people in Sudan affected by the ongoing conflict in Darfur and approximately 2.7 million others living in displacement1, including 137,000 who have been newly- or re-displaced in the first half of 2009 alone. Furthermore, in March 2009 the Government of Sudan revoked the licenses of 16 NGO partners, significantly affecting humanitarian operations in Darfur. While advocating for the return of the expelled NGOs, remaining humanitarian actors have strived to meet the most urgent needs that were identified in a joint United Nations/Government assessment. Apart from the high profile situation in Darfur, flooding and drought are increasing the vulnerability of children and women in other locations, especially in the east where there is food insecurity, acute malnutrition, disease outbreaks and a lack of social services. Localized conflicts also have flared up, exacerbating the security situation in Southern Sudan. Elections in February 2010 and the border demarcation in transitional areas remain potential triggers for insecurity.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

While continuing to respond to the immediate need for humanitarian assistance in the most emergency-affected areas, UNICEF will support early recovery interventions to facilitate the return and reintegration of internally displaced people and refugees, especially children at risk, and reconciliation among communities.  As the lead of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster, Education Cluster (with Save the Children) and the Child Protection Sub-Cluster, and as co-chair of the Nutrition Cluster (with the World Health Organization), UNICEF will play a crucial role in the 2010 roll-out of the United Nations cluster approach to strengthen the coordination and implementation of emergency response. Capacity building of national partners will be a prominent component across all sectors. Following are the expected results of UNICEF’s emergency interventions:

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will provide immediate response to the extremely high levels of acute malnutrition through support for therapeutic feeding and other services. UNICEF and partners will also conduct campaigns for immunization against polio, measles, tetanus and meningitis and strengthen primary and emergency health care services for an estimated 9.4 million vulnerable children and women.  Distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and vitamin A supplements and other micronutrients will also continue.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Sufficient safe water supply and sanitation will be made available for up to 1 million displaced people in camps and resettlement areas across Sudan.  Safer hygiene behaviours will be encouraged in camps, schools and host communities through regular hygiene promotion activities and distribution of hygiene kits to 2.5 million people, including children.

Education: Some 425,000 conflict-affected and other vulnerable children and teachers will attend school in UNICEF-funded premises in North Sudan while in Southern Sudan the focus will be on improving access for some 2 million children (40 per cent girls) to primary school and accelerated learning programmes through temporary learning spaces and the provision of learning and recreational materials.  Training will be provided for teachers, education officials and development partners working in education in emergencies to respond to children’s needs for psychosocial support, reintegration and accelerated learning.

Child Protection: In North Sudan, up to 250,000 children and adolescents will receive psychosocial support through community-based protection networks while 700 children released from armed forces or groups will have access to reintegration services.  At least 60 per cent of separated, unaccompanied and orphaned children, 5,000 extremely vulnerable children affected by the conflict in Southern Sudan and all children released from the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army will be able to access psychosocial support, including services for survivors of sexual abuse.  Across Sudan, 550,000 individuals will learn about prevention of injury from unexploded ordnance through mine risk education in communities and schools. 

HIV/AIDS: Behaviour change communications will encourage up to 1.3 million young people across Sudan to adopt safer sexual practices and expanded Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission programmes will provide 110,000 pregnant women with access to HIV testing, counselling and treatment services.

Non-food Items and Emergency Coordination: Around 1.6 million displaced people will benefit from the distribution of non-food items such as blankets, plastic sheeting, cooking sets, jerry cans and shelter.  There will also be capacity-building activities for community-based organizations and other partners in emergency preparedness.

Communication and Advocacy: Approximately 750,000 displaced people and returnees will have accurate and timely information to enable them to make informed decisions about their return options.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil Core Commitments for Children in 2010
Sector Area Programme Total (US$)
North of Sudan
Southern Sudan
Health and Nutrition 25,706,300 12,267,000 37,973,300
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 31,748,100 12,621,000 44,369,100
Education 25,874,100 17,469,000 43,343,100
Child Protection 14,116,000 4,500,000 18,616,000
Mine Risk Action 700,000 500,000 1,200,000
HIV/AIDS 3,239,500 1,950,000 5,189,500
Non-food Items 9,817,200 4,000,000 13,817,200
Communication and Advocacy 1,365,000 500,000 1,865,000
Total 112,566,200 53,807,000 166,373,200

1 Data provided by the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in July 2009.