Concern resumes humanitarian operations in Sudan and gears up response in Chad
Concern Worldwide has resumed operations in two states in Sudan and is gearing up its emergency response to meet the needs of thousands of Sudanese people who are crossing into Chad to flee hostilities.
After 140 Sudanese staff had been confined to their homes since April 15 due to the conflict, an improvement in the security situation in South Kordofan and West Kordofan has enabled some staff to return to Concern’s offices and begin planning for the recommencement of Concern’s humanitarian programs in the region.
Concern teams on the ground are also assessing the security situation in West Darfur and they are preparing to resume operations as soon as the security situation improves.
“Our teams are doing assessments of the needs in South and West Kordofan states and attending coordination meetings as part of the planning to recommence programs which were suspended due to fighting,” Concern’s Horn of Africa Regional Director Amina Abdulla said. “Our priorities will be health, food security and nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter materials and other essential household items.”
Ms. Abdulla stressed that their work was dependent on the region remaining peaceful and stressed the need for safe access and protection of humanitarian workers. “It is vital that humanitarians can return to work, given the huge humanitarian needs facing the country,” she said. “Even prior to the outbreak of hostilities, almost 16 million Sudanese people – a third of the population – were in need of humanitarian assistance.
Concern’s team in neighboring Chad is also preparing to respond to meet the needs of 30,000 people who have crossed the border in recent days. The UNHCR estimates that this could increase up to 135,000 people in the coming weeks.
Concern is focusing their response on the Sila region where 6,000 people have already crossed the border. “The first wave of people brought household items with them but the second wave who have traveled longer distances have much less – some are traveling with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they can carry,” Concern’s Regional Director for West Africa & Sahel Reka Sztopa said.
Concern’s team in Chad will distribute shelter materials, non-food items such as blankets, sleeping mats, cooking items, jerry cans, buckets, soap, and detergent, and provide health and nutrition services, including a mobile clinic, she said.