Background of the Humanitarian Situation in Sudan

Sudan faces two overlapping humanitarian challenges: one triggered by conflict leading to wide-scale population displacement and another due to climatic and socio-cultural conditions leading to crisis levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. Darfur (since 2003), South Kordofan and Blue Nile (both since 2011) are areas of armed conflict that caused 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan. Additional 400,000 people from South Sudan, Eritrea and other countries are looking for refuge in Sudan (UNHCR official figures, June 2017). Extreme weather events like El Niño aggravate the situation: A lack of rains has caused pastures to shrink and deteriorate; wells to fall dry, and herds to weaken. As a consequence, food security and health situation of many people in Sudan—refugees, IDPs and host communities alike—have declined significantly. These two challenges—conflict and climate change—are of particular relevance since the largest contribution to the gross domestic product of Sudan comes from agriculture, of which livestock provides the biggest part. Traditionally, the majority of the population practices small-scale pastoralism, agro-pastoralism and rain-fed farming in order to meet the food needs and secure livelihoods. Despite the importance of these sectors, famers and pastoralists have been caught up in the above-mentioned conflicts that have consistently had a negative impact on their livelihoods. Many were forced to leave their farms and rangelands; they lost their key production assets such as livestock, farming tools, seeds and also their support networks.

5 Facts you should know about Sudan

  • Alfred Brehm, author of the famous book “Brehm’s Animal Life” (“Brehms Tierleben“), wrote his dissertation about his journeys to Sudan from 1847 –1853.
  • The famous garden architect and universal academic Pückler-Muskau (after whom the Pückler-Ice Cream was named) travelled to Sudan in 1824 and scratched a graffito (his name) on the wall of one of Sudan’s most prestigious antiquity.
  • 8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance; 3.6 million people need food assistance. 2.2 million children under the age of five suffer from general acute malnutrition.(UNOCHA)
  • Only 22% of the Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan is currently funded. More than 621 million US-Dollars are still required in the course of 2017.(UNOCHA)
  • Even in a complex security environment, community animal health workers who are rooted in the communities can reach herds that are affected by increasingly difficult climatic conditions and can improve veterinary services. Thus, they improve people’s lives.