Khartoum, 19 September 2017. The humanitarian community in Sudan is deeply concerned about the impact of the lack of funding for the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2017 on the well-being of millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Sudan. The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas, thanks donors for their continued generosity towards those in need in Sudan and urges that funding be stepped up to ensure people in need receive the life-saving assistance they urgently require.
The HRP 2017 for Sudan appeals for U$804 million, of which about $304 million has been received. This represents only 38 per cent of the funds required.
“The low level of funding will have an immediate impact on the lives of thousands of people we are serving,” Ms. Ruedas said.
For instance, a funding gap of approximately $3 million in health financing in Darfur, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and eastern states has resulted in the closure of 49 health facilities in 2017. “These closures have left some 637,000 people without proper access to essential primary health care,” Ms. Ruedas highlighted.
Similarly, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), a common service and a lifeline for over 70 humanitarian organisations, their projects and their beneficiaries, providing air connections for the movement of personnel and goods to many field locations across Sudan will only be able to continue operations until November at current levels of funding. This will leave UNHAS at a significantly reduced level of activity and with no possibility to expand, meaning that humanitarian workers will not be in a position to travel to deep field locations to provide the required assistance.
Meanwhile, International NGOs’ presence in some areas – including Darfur – is decreasing, mainly due to a lack of funding. Many INGOs have had to hand over management of facilities to the State Ministries of Health, who also have limited resources and funding to sustain continuity of services, even though the Government of Sudan has been increasingly investing in the health sector.
Sudan is currently facing a severe outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), which has been ongoing for one year. “If the outbreak continues, another 40,000 AWD cases may be expected over the next 5-8 months, more than doubling the current caseload,” the Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan stated.
The lack of funding is also affecting thousands of IDP and other vulnerable Sudanese children. At least 60 per cent of the 1.6 million people living in camps in Darfur are children, who bear the brunt of the low funding for humanitarian operations. Education, health and water and sanitation are the most underfunded areas.
Meanwhile, funding for South Sudanese refugee response is also low - 22 per cent of the required amount. Education and shelter are among the most critically underfunded sectors for the South Sudanese refugee crisis, while water and sanitation, livelihoods, energy and health are also affected.
“Without continued support from donors, thousands of refugee families will not have access to shelter, and refugee children will be deprived of education,” Ms. Ruedas said. About 65 per cent of the South Sudanese refugees are children, of whom nearly 60 per cent are out of school.
About 460,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan seeking shelter and assistance since December 2013. This includes about 182,000 refugees (accounting for 40 per cent of the total) who arrived during the first eight months of 2017.
With the resources generously provided so far, UN agencies and its partners have been able to assist about 3.3 million people across Sudan with food, water, health, nutrition, education and other assistance in 2017. HRP partners plan to assist 4 million people in Sudan in 2017.
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