OCHA: Situation in Sudan 'unpredictable', commodity prices rise
November 5 - 2021 KHARTOUM
People lining up for bread in Khartoum last year (social media)
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan published a flash update on the current humanitarian situation in Sudan yesterday, with the country in political turmoil since the coup on October 25.
According to the report, the situation in Khartoum and the rest of the country remains calm but unpredictable, with markets and shops being open across Sudan.
Support is needed for humanitarian action in Sudan, OCHA
stressed. Food prices are rising and access to food is limited too as some markets are closed due to the coup and ports were blocked
in eastern Sudan by Beja protesters.
OCHA said that there are reports of a slight increase in commodity prices in South Darfur. In South Kordofan, commodity prices have increased in some areas as a result of the closure of some markets. Meanwhile, in Khartoum there are reports of a decrease in commodity prices and reduced queues at bakeries.
Listeners told Radio Dabanga from Khartoum that the prices of commodities have gone up. Lentils and sugar have become “very expensive” and bread is scarce and expensive too.
Banks re-opened across Sudan on 2 November, but internet networks are still down. Mobile phones are operating after interruptions on October 25, 26, and 30.
OCHA’s health partners have supported hospitals in Khartoum for mass casualty treatments. A reporting system supported by WHO regional office has been established to report on and verify number and type of reported casualties in cooperation with doctor’s committee.
Some health services have been interrupted, affecting the provision of routine services including immunisations.
COVID-19 cases were on the rise prior to 25 October. Testing has since been interrupted and the vaccination campaign has been paused. As of 1 November 2021, only 3 per cent of Sudan’s 46.7 million people were vaccinated against COVID-19, OCHA stated.
According to OCHA, schools are open or partially open in seven states. Informal learning continues in some camps for displaced people and refugees. Humanitarian partners advocate for the resumption of schools to ensure children have access to education and for the protective environment it provides.
Beja protesters in Port Sudan this week (social media)
Transport and delivery of humanitarian services
The UN Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) operated throughout last week and has resumed its regular flights. Some commercial airlines have resumed their flights, OCHA reported.
The Beja High Council leader announced on 31 October the lifting for one month of the blockade of Port Sudan and the road. The container terminal re-opened on 3 November; container clearing processing is set to resume on 7 November.
Since the announcement, humanitarian organisations have not reported issues with movement of commodities out of Port Sudan or within the field, interstate movements have not been hindered and field operations continue despite the limited fuel availability.
On 2 November the Humanitarian Affairs Commission (HAC) Commissioner General stated that HAC offices across Sudan are functioning and delivering services despite the recent challenges. He affirmed HAC’s commitment to facilitate humanitarian operations, OCHA wrote.
This year OCHA’s donors have provided US$744 million for humanitarian response in Sudan, the statement read. This included $593 million for the 2021 Sudan Humanitarian Response Fund (HRP). The HRP is 31 per cent funded, with the remaining gap of over $1.3 billion.
Almost all sectors are funded less than 50 per cent of the requirements, while protection and shelter, non-food supplies sectors received less than 10 per cent of what is needed, OCHA highlighted.
OCHA’s humanitarian partners are advocating for sustaining humanitarian funding to meet the needs of over 13 million people in need across Sudan and urge donors to support the continuation of life sustaining activities to prevent a further deterioration of people’s wellbeing.
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