Sudan bulletin No. 1 - 28 June 2004
28-06-2004 Operational Update
Latest report on ICRC activities on the field
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), has considerably reinforced its set-up and operations in Sudan in response to the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region. This has enabled the organization to launch significant activities on behalf of the victims of the conflict, especially displaced, sick and wounded persons. The ICRC has now opened operational bases in Geneina and Zalingei in Western Darfur, in addition to El Fasher, Kutum and Kabkabiya in Northern Darfur and Nyala in Southern Darfur. In Chad, an office has been opened in Abéché to assess the needs of the refugees coming from Darfur. So far, over 50 expatriate delegates and 150 national staff are working for the Darfur operation, which is expanding daily.
The ICRC cooperates closely with the branches and units of the National Society. From the outset, the SRCS has played a key role in responding to the needs in Darfur and supporting ICRC operations there. Its trained and committed staff and volunteers car ry out field assessments, register internally displaced persons (IDPs), distribute relief items and help run the tracing and Red Cross message (RCM) service. The ICRC further seeks to coordinate the response of other partners from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Darfur, namely the Spanish Red Cross Society, which has a long-established presence in the area, and the German Red Cross Society which recently expanded its activities in Darfur.
ICRC delegates pursued and conveyed concerns regarding the PROTECTION of civilians, the sick and the wounded in Darfur to all parties to the conflict, and reminded them of their obligations regarding the laws and customs of war embodied in the Geneva Conventions.
Thousands of displaced families, scattered in camps and across towns, are in need of assistance.
The ICRC completed the relocation of 42,000 IDPs in Abshok camp near El Fasher . Over 7,000 families were registered, assigned plots of land, and provided with tents, blankets and other essential household items. Submersible pumps, 70'000 liter storage tanks and tap stands were installed, thus improving access to safe water.
Tens of thousands of IDPs are living in El Fasher town itself, many with relatives or other host families. The ICRC worked with the SRCS and civil leaders to register the displaced, and distributed basic household items to 2,600 families (16,000 people). It began working with the local authorities to improve the water supply in the part of town near Abshok camp , by providing and installing equipment
In Meshtel neighborhood ( El Fasher ), where some 40'000 displaced people had gathered, the ICRC delivered 80,000 liters of water each day since early April until relocation to Abshok camp.
Kassab camp near Kutum , which was laid out by the ICRC and the SRCS in March for 13'000 IDPs, new plots were laid out to accommodate 2,500 new families (some 15,000 people) who had settled on the edge of the camp. Efforts continued to ensure water supply for the camp with the digging of four wells and the installation of pumping facilities. In Kutum town the ICRC continued to deliver 200'000 liters of water each day.
In Kebkabiya , the ICRC continued to carry out maintenance on four wells that it had upgraded in 2003, with an average water delivery of 200'000 liters a day . It began digging three new wells to supply the hospital, the North camp and Arab communities around the town. Earlier in 2004 the ICRC had provided 33,000 IDPs in Kebkabiya with shelter material and essential household items.
A total of 13 IDP camps were visited in and around Kass, in Southern Darfur and tarpaulins, blankets, soap and buckets were distributed to 54'000 people (9'000 households). Repair work began on part of the urban water network.
Through the opening of its office in Western Darfur in mid-June, the ICRC extended its activities in the area. Work began to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions in the two largest camps in Zalingei (building latrines, installing water tanks, improving wells, increasing pumping rates), and basic material aid was distributed to 30'000 people (5,000 IDP families). Cooperation with the local authorities began to ensure sufficient free water supply to IDPs living in camps or with host families.
Displaced people living in and around camps and those wounded in the fighting often do not have access to MEDICAL CARE
Substantial quantities of surgical and medical equipment were distributed to El Fasher and Nyala hospitals, and expertise was shared with the staff. In Nyala , the renovation of three operating theatres and other essential installations, such as the electrical system, was completed. Rehabilitation work continued in El Fasher hospital. Meanwhile, prep aratory steps were taken for the complete rehabilitation of Zalingei general hospital, where work to upgrade sanitation systems had begun in April.
In Kutum the ICRC rehabilitated the General Hospital, which had been severely damaged during the hostilities. Two operating theatres, the outpatient building, the hospital's power and water systems were being repaired. The building should be back in working order by the end of June.
Following attacks in Tabit and Shangil Tobay south of El Fasher , the ICRC and SRCS evacuated several wounded to El Fasher hospital and provided drugs and dressing material to local health workers.
The orthopedic center in Nyala , which is run by the National Association for Prostheses and Orthoses and supported by the ICRC, treated a total of 97 patients during its first month of operation.
RESTORING CONTACTS BETWEEN FAMILY MEMBERS
In conflict situations, families are torn apart and need help in RE-ESTABLISHING LINKS
Since March 2004 the ICRC has been helping separated families in Darfur to re-establish contacts. Over 500 tracing requests, concerning some 1,200 people, have been filed and 70 separated children registered, in cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.
From the outset, the SUDANESE RED CRESCENT has played a key role in responding to the crisis
To help the SRCS cope with the increased needs and continue to work effectively in a difficult environment, the ICRC provided it with funds, vehicles, relief goods and other materials to carry out fieldwork, as well as logistical back up and training.
In June, the ICRC supported SRCS training workshops for over 300 volunteers in Southern and Western Darfur , in the fields of logistics, relief management, tracing and security.
In Zalingei , it assisted the local SRCS branch in setting up a volunteer network.
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