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Sudan bulletin No. 19 - 9 November 2004

09-11-2004 Operational Update

Report on ICRC activities in the field

 Focus on the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's activities in Sudan  

As a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC works in collaboration with other components of the Movement to carry out its activities for the victims of armed conflict.

In Sudan, the ICRC's partners are the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and the Red Cross Societies of Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holland and Spain. They have adopted a coordinated approach that allows the Movement to work efficiently in its humanitarian endeavours through a Memorandum of Understanding.

Some National Societies present in Sudan have their own autonomous programmes, while coordinating with the ICRC on issues such as security, logistics and needs identification. The Spanish Red Cross, for example, is operational in all three of the Darfur states, with activities in food security, primary health care, and water and sanitation. The German Red Cross has an emergency response unit in El Fashir in Northern Darfur which, in the past week alone, provided medical attention to 1,711 people.

Other Red Cross societies have a partnership model with the ICRC. Such is the case of the Australian/British Red Cross initiative in Gereida, Southern Darfur, which delivers primary health care and water and sanitation services to over 42,000 internally displaced people who have found refuge in the outskirts of the town. The Canadian and Dutch Red Cross are undertaking primary health care activities in Seleia, Western Darfur.

" The participation of National Societies has produced excellent results " , according to Carmen Tremblay, the ICRC deputy head of sub-delegation in Nyala. " An organization cannot function in Darfur without a good network of contacts and logistics. On the other hand, the complexity and challenges of the operation in Sudan call for qualified and experienced personnel, who can be operational within a few days. This is something the National Societies have to offer along with financial support for other activities " .

In the south, the Danish, Dutch and German Red Cross Societies support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society's primary health care programmes. The ICRC is currently running health programmes in Yirol and Chelkou, which it plans to hand over to National Societies in 2005.

The closest partner of the ICRC in Sudan is the SRCS, which enables the ICRC to operate across the country through its network of thousands of volunteers. From the registration of internally displaced persons to the distribution of relief assistance, the SRCS volunteers work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable. They are vital in the distribution of Red Cross messages and in tracing activities on behalf of members of families separated by the conflict. The ICRC continues to support the capacity building of the SRCS, enhancing its ability to mobilize effectively during crises.

In Chad, the ICRC continues to collaborate with the Red Cross of Chad (RCC) to make tracing activities in the refugee camps of Bredjing and Treguine fully operational. Hundreds of Red Cross messages are processed weekly, enabling Sudanese refugees to communicate with family members in Darfur and in other refugee camps in eastern Chad.

 Since the start of its operations in Darfur, the ICRC has:  

  • Delivered essential household items to 373,270 persons in 25 locations

  • Distributed 5,423 tonnes of food assistance to 259,823 persons in 50 locations

  • Upgraded and repaired five hospitals

  • Created four primary health care units, which have provided services to 134,000 persons

  • Set up and repaired water delivery systems to provide 2,100,000 litres per day to over 240,000 persons

  • Organized the layout of Abu Shok, Zam Zam and Hasahesa camps for 120,000 persons


 For further information, please contact:  

 Virginia de la Guardia, ICRC Khartoum, tel. ++249 9 121 377 64  

 Yves Heller, ICRC Yaoundé (for Chad), tel. ++237 222 58 59  

 Marco Jiménez, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 79 217 3217