Update three: UNDP response for host communities and Ethiopian refugees in Eastern Sudan

August 23, 2021

Providing employment for refugees and local community members, rehabilitation of the health centres and other facilities is underway at multiple locations in East Sudan. UNDP Sudan/Ala Eldin Abdalla Mohamed

Khartoum: Efforts to support the more than 46,000 Ethiopian refugees, and nearby host communities, continues in Eastern Sudan. Significant activities are underway to provide longer-term, durable solutions for both groups, with separate initiatives to support flood resilience in the region. In total, more than USD 2.0m has been committed by UNDP to the response thus far but USD 2.7m is still required.

UNDP is focusing on a range of urgent needs including protection, access to energy, emergency employment, and basic services including education and health. Having progressed rapid response activities – such as deployment of solar streetlights and mobile health clinics – longer term interventions are underway, including significant civil works.

“With increasing demand on local infrastructure and resources, particularly ahead of the rainy season, our initiatives aim to ease pressure, mitigate tensions and provide much-needed assistance,” says Trond Husby, UNDP Sudan’s Crisis Coordinator.

Activities completed or currently underway include:

  • Protection: 155 solar street/floodlights deployed to camps and surrounding villages, with an additional 15 diverted to refugee facilities in Blue Nile State.
  • Protection: 50% completed rehabilitation of police posts in Um Rakuba Village and Daroot Village, and 7 motorcycles deployed to police posts to support camps and communities.
  • Livelihoods: Creation of more than 1,000 emergency employment opportunities for refugees and host community members via civil work-based cash-for-work and other initiatives.
  • Health: 50% completed rehabilitation of health facilities in Tawarit Village, Um Rakuba Village, and Doka, following the completed upgrade and expansion of the Um Rakuba refugee camp health centre.
  • Health: Completed deployment of 3 mobile clinics in Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah refugee camps, having supported more than 5,000 refugee and host community patients. Currently undergoing repair in Khartoum ahead of restationing.
  • WASH: Installation of 42 showers/latrines in Um Rakuba refugee camp and village.
  • Education: 50% completed rehabilitation of schools in Tawarit Village and Um Rakuba Village.
  • Access to energy: Addressing firewood and fuel access issues, deployment of 900 solar cookers to refugee and nearby local communities.
  • Access to energy: Deployment of additional solar charging panels and bicycle-mounted solar charging equipment.

Beyond these activities, UNDP is appealing for USD 2.7m to support refugees and host community members with a range of additional durable solutions. This includes:

  • Protection: Two fire trucks and associated training to assist populations in Um Rabkuba and Tunaydbah Villages and refugee camps.
  • Protection: Rehabilitation of Tunaydbah Village police post to improve safety and human security.
  • WASH: Provision of two mobile water tankers to improve access to clean water in Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah refugee camps, and nearby host communities.
  • Livelihoods: Supply of tractors and tools to local communities outside Tunaydbah to support urgent livelihoods activities and agricultural production.
  • Stabilization: A shared Tunaydbah Village/refugee camp community youth centre, providing livelihood training.

Additionally, broader flood preparedness efforts across Kassala and Sennar states are underway, including:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Strengthened the Flood Early Warning Centre in Kassala State, provided technical assistance to local officials on preparedness, and deployed a staff member to support the centre.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Rehabilitated 3 Gash River Monitoring Stations in Kassala for flood warning.
  • Civil Works: Rehabilitation in progress of 3 river spurs / embankments at Gash River, Kassala Town, to mitigate potential flood damage.
  • Shelter: Deployment of soil stabilized block (SSB) producing machinery in Sennar State, trialing faster flood-resilient construction/repair capabilities.
  • Access to energy: Vocational training for refugees and host community members in Kassala for the maintenance of solar systems to improve efficiency during the rainy season.