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Sudan bulletin No. 2 - 9 July 2004

09-07-2004 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC activities on the field


Displaced women waiting for the distribution of essential household items by the ICRC and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.©ICRC/ref. SD-E-00005 

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), continued to reinforce its set-up and operations in Sudan in response to the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region. The organization currently has operational bases in El Fasher, Kutum and Kabkabiya in Northern Darfur, in Nyala in Southern Darfur, and in El Geneina and Zalingei in Western Darfur. In Chad, an office has been opened in Abéché to assess the needs of the refugees affected by the conflict in Darfur. So far, over 70 expatriate delegates and 315 national staff are working for the Darfur operation, which is expanding daily.

The ICRC cooperates closely with the branches and units of the National Red Crescent Society. From the outset, the SRCS has played a key role in responding to the needs in Darfur and supporting ICRC operations there. Other partners from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, such as the Danish, German, Norwegian and Spanish Red Cross Societies, are complementing the response to the humanitarian needs.



 Thousands of displaced families now scattered in camps and across towns have fled situations of insecurity  


  • ICRC delegates regularly conveyed their concerns regarding current protection problems of the displaced population and wounded and sick persons to the authorities, reminding them of their obligations under international humanitarian law.    

  • In Western Darfur, discussions were held with the authorities and displaced community leaders concerning the former's intention to relocate several thousand families from Zalingei town to existing camps on the outskirts. While not opposed to this, as sanitary conditions in town would be inadequate in the rainy season, the displaced persons'main concern was for security in any new settlement.

  • ICRC and SRCS teams traveled to an increasing number of communities outside the main towns to determine the material and protection needs of the population and evaluate security conditions.




 Thousands of displaced families, scattered in camps and across towns, are in need of assistance , especially food, shelter and water  


  • Following the transfer by the authorities of around 4,000 people (680 households) from makeshift Meshtel camp to Abshok camp (both in El Fasher) on 1 July, work began to create new plots in an extension to Abshok. Each new family was provided with blankets, soap and kangas. Every day 140,000 liters of water were supplied to Abshok camp through ICRC installations

  • Both Meshtel and Dinka camps also received some 30,000 liters a day each through ICRC installations.

  • Basic household items were distributed to 16,000 people (2,600 families) in Kassab camp outside Kutum   and to a further 1,800 people (300 families) in nearby Arab villages also affected by the conflict. Some 100,000 liters of water were delivered daily to the camp and three wells were dug.

  • In Kutum town itself, 100,000 liters of water were delivered daily through ICRC installations, and repair work on town supply systems continued. By the end of June, renovation of one of the western town water yards had been completed, and a new well was delivered to a second water yard i n the east of the town

  • ICRC-SCRS teams based in El Fasher and Kutum visited outlying communities (Zamzam, Gallab, Tabit, Shangril Tobaya; Tawila, Kabkabiya, Jebel Si region; Abdel-Shakur, Dor, Dissa, Ana-Beji, Orshi) to determine the number of people affected by the conflict, their needs and the appropriate Red Cross / Red Crescent response. Tarpaulins, kangas, blankets, and soap were delivered to 9,000 displaced (1,500 families) in Zamzam.

  • In Kebkabiya, four wells continued to deliver 100,000 liters a day through ICRC installations, and construction of three new hand-dug wells went ahead to supply the health centre and Northern IDP camp. Two more wells have been providing 50,000 liters daily to surrounding conflict-affected Arab communities over the past two months.

  • In Kass , in Southern Darfur, 50,000 people (8,300 households) in 12 camps were provided with basic household goods. Repair work was carried out on the town water network and 300,000 liters of water a day were supplied to displaced people and residents. 

  • An emergency water programme was launched in El Geneina in Western Darfur. ICRC-SRCS teams began digging two wells in Ryad camps, and steps were taken to equip three WES/Unicef boreholes with submersible pumps, which should deliver more than 400,000 liters daily. A hand-dug well is being constructed in Ardamata camp, equipped with a mechanical pump, bladder and distribution ramps. This should meet the water needs of 25,000 displaced persons.

  • First assessments were also carried out in other camps north of Al Geneina, to determine food, material and water needs. Communities visited included Birdageeg, Kondobei and Sirba.

  • In Zalingei, also in Western Darfur, the ICRC and SRCS worked to improve water delivery to the camp by insta lling water tanks, improving wells, and increasing pumping rates. Some 80,000 liters were delivered each day.



 Displaced people living in and around camps and those wounded in the fighting do not have sufficient neither adequate access to medical care  


  • Support for El Fasher hospital continued. The German Red Cross set up an ERU basic health care unit, and construction of a paediatric ward outside the hospital began. In the last week of June, the hospital treated 5 war-wounded and 538 other patients, including 104 children.

  • In Abshok camp, the ICRC took a lead role in setting up four stations where children with diarrhea can receive Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), and where their mothers can learn how to administer the treatment themselves.

  • Rehabilitation of Kutum General Hospital, severely damaged during the hostilities, continued. The operating theatre is now in working order. Repairs to the outpatient department walls have been completed.

  • In Southern Darfur, an ICRC surgeon and anaesthetist, together with local surgeons, operated on 16 patients in Nyala hospital. The ICRC also donated surgical instruments including a craniotomy set, interdental wiring, dental extraction and skin graft set, and conducted in-service education on war-wounded surgery with Sudanese health staff. Cleaning of septic tanks and sewerage at the hospital was completed.

  • In Western Darfur, rehabilitation work on Zalingei hospital continued. After completing the operating theatre, the focus shifted to the outpatient department, women's ward, pharmacy store, and laundry.


 Due to the conflict situations, families are torn apart and need help to re-establish links  


  • Lists of separated family members were posted in several sites as a way of facilitating the restoration of contacts between family members. In total, the parents of 52 children are being actively traced and over 1,200 persons, including nearly 400 children, are being sought.

  • The ICRC continued to expand its tracing set-up in Darfur, with activities in Kutum,

Zamzam and Kalma camps. In Kutum, the ICRC followed up cases of children who had become separated from their families. Information sessions on tracing activities were held for traditional leaders in Kassab and Fata Borno camps. In Zamzam, a number of requests concerning children were collected in the camp for follow-up in Nyala, South ern Darfur. Meanwhile, in El Fasher, 46 Red Cross messages from people who had become separated from their families were distributed in the town.


 Members of the armed and security forces need to know and apply the rules of international humanitarian haw  


  • Four dissemination sessions on international humanitarian law and the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement were held for 15 police officers in El Fasher.


 The Sudanese Red Crescent is playing a key role in responding to the crisis  


  • Staff and volunteers from the three SRCS branches and many offices in Darfur are working side by side with ICRC teams to carry out assessments of the humanitarian situation, register IDPs, distribute relief items and help run the tracing and Red Cross message service. They are playing an increasing role in water and sanitation programmes in the camps and hospitals.

  • To help the SRCS to cope with the increased needs in the Darfur region a nd continue to work effectively in a difficult environment, the ICRC provided it with vehicles, relief goods and other materials, and gave training in relief management, needs assessments and reporting.

  • Nine SRCS disaster-preparedness trainers were deployed to the three Darfur states to establish disaster-response teams at the branch level, train volunteers and assist in relief activities.

 For further information please direct calls to:  

 Carlo Piccinini, Khartoum, Tel : +249 9 121 377 64  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, Geneva, Tel: +41 22 730 22 71