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Sudan bulletin No. 9 - 27 August 2004

27-08-2004 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC activities in the field


Humanitarian situation


Abshok camp. Distributing kits of essential household items.©ICRC/The Sudanese Red Crescent/ref. sd-e-00008 

The general situation remains insecure, with localized armed clashes. The number of police officers has been increased in Western Darfur (Zalingy and Al Junayna).

The needs of the civilian population remain enormous and urgent in terms of security, health and food.

According to OCHA, 62% of those affected by the conflict have been provided with food, 50% have access to primary health facilities, 36% have access to clean water and 53% of displaced people have received some form of non-food assistance.

WHO has confirmed that the incidence of hepatitis E and malaria is on the rise. Although 80% of Sudanese are said to live in areas in which malaria is endemic, the displaced are at a greater risk of developing these and other illnesses because of their vulnerable situation. Other diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections continue to spread, taking their highest toll among children under the age of five.

Western Darfur is by far the state most affected by the rains. The situation in Jebel Mun illustrates the living conditions of thousands of displaced families - both African and Arab – who have been isolated for weeks or months on end, beyond the reach of all humanitarian aid. The rainy season is at its peak, thus complicating the distribution of emergency aid. It took the ICRC more than a day to cover the last 14 kilometres of dirt road to settlements in Jabel Mun and bring in assistance on camelback.

Muhagariya (17,000 inhabitants), in Southern Darfur, has received an influx of 21,000 displaced persons from surrounding villages who are camping with host families or living in open areas outside the town. Shariya (18,000 inhabitants) has seen the arrival of 10,000 displaced persons. They are living in tukuls erected for them by the local population, which has also been supplying them with food. The most vulnerable are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter and basic health care.



Western Darfur: the ICRC completed the first distribution of relief supplies in Jebel Mun. Despite the heavy rain, food was distributed to 500 households – over 2,500 people - in five locations.

Northern Darfur: urgently needed non-food aid - tarpaulins, blankets, soap, kangas and buckets – was provided to 2,500 displaced people in Abshok camp.

The ICRC visited the Shangil, Tobaya and Shedad camps for internally displaced persons and the surrounding villages (Tabaldia, Afara, Kilmena, Hashaba, Hafara and Umlaot a) for the first time, distributing assistance to nearly 15,000 people.

Southern Darfur: ICRC field teams continue to reach parts of the region not yet visited to assess needs (Muhagariya, Labadu and Shariya).





The ICRC continued to call on the parties to the conflict immediately and effectively to restore the protection to which the civilian population is entitled under international humanitarian law. It stressed that the safety of all people, whether displaced persons, returnees or residents, must be guaranteed, and that displaced persons must be allowed to return to their homes on a strictly voluntary basis.



Abshok camp. Displaced persons walking back from a water distribution point.©ICRC/The Sudanese Red Crescent/ref. sd-e-00016 
  • 75,000 kg of food were distributed to 2,472 people (412 households) and tarpaulins to 160 households in the area of Jebel Mun.

  • 14,000 people in seven locations received shelter and non-food items and 972 people were provided with 3-month food rations in the Shangil Tobaya area.

  • 500 families received tarpaulins, blankets, soap, kangas and buckets in Abshok camp.

  • The ICRC continued to work on the structural extension of Hasha-Issa camp in Zalingei.

  • The primary health centre in Terej (Western Darfur) resumed its activities, the ICRC is providing drugs and repairing the buildings.

  • Medicines were again provided to Zalingei hospital, and work continued to renovate the wards and the water / sanitation system.

  • The Australian and British Red Cross Societies will take over a primary health care project in Gereida started by the ICRC.

  • The two health centres in Abshok camp, run by the German Red Cross, saw 1,330 patients (about 220 patients daily).

  • The ICRC-supported Kutum hospital treated 28 inpatients and 328 outpatients.

  • A large borehole (50m3/h) is being equipped with a submersible pump to facilitate access to water in Zalingei.

  • The ICRC started to rehabilitate a high-yield borehole and a large water tank in Al Geneina.

  • In Al Fasher, the water-supply project in the Dinka neighbourhood is close to completion.

  • In Kebkabiya one well was completed and work continued on three others.

  • In rural Tawillia a 5000-l bladder tank and the surrounding infrastructure were finished; they will supply water to 1,000 inhabitants and internally displaced persons.

  • In Golo (Jabel Mara) a submersible pump was installed, improving the water supply to 20,000 people.

 Restoring family links and tracing  


The ICRC has so far registered 90 children separated from their families and collected tracing requests for 1,731 missing persons, 727 of them children.

 Preventive action and information  


Dissemination sessions were held on international humanitarian law and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for over 150 Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers, health workers, members of the armed and security forces and local authorities.

 Cooperation with National Societies  


  • The ICRC continued to work in close cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent.

  • The Australian, British and German Red Cross Societies are stepping up their involvement in water and health projects in Darfur.

  • The Saudi Arabian Red Crescent Society is stepping up its role in primary health care and water / sanitation projects.



 Humanitarian situation  


Thousands of refugees are living in camps and in settlements that have sprung up spontaneously along the Chad-Sudan borde r. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Red Cross of Chad are among the humanitarian organizations cooperating on the layout of the new Treguine camp, which is to accommodate thousands of refugees. Health, hygiene and food security are the main concerns in the middle of a heavy rainy season. Uncertainty about family members they left behind adds to the refugees'ordeal.

 ICRC highlights  


The southern refugee camp Goz Amer (over 18,000 refugees) has opened a fully operational ICRC tracing office. Tracing requests are already being processed. This is on top of the 46,000 people already benefiting from tracing activities at Oure Cassoni camp in the north and Djabal camp in the south.



 Restoring family links  


The first 26 Red Cross messages and six tracing requests were received at Djabal camp.



The ICRC continued to heighten awareness of ICRC tracing activities among refugees, local officials, security forces and NGO staff present in Djabal and Goz Amer.


 For further information please contact:  

 Carlo Piccinini, ICRC Khartoum, tel. ++249 9 121 377 64  

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

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 22 71