Intense hostilities and fighting since the escalation in violence across Sudan on 15 April 2023 have left 24.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has caused tremendous human suffering and exacerbated significant pre-existing humanitarian needs among the civilian population in Sudan.
There are 5.7 million people (an increase from 3 million) in need of shelter assistance, but the Shelter & Non-Food Items (NFI) Cluster in Sudan faces multiple challenges as it strives to provide critical assistance to vulnerable populations. Before 15 April 2023, shelter and NFI needs were already acute, exacerbated by the significant underfunding of the cluster’s work.
The intensity of the new clashes and their seemingly indiscriminate nature are causing widespread damage and devastation to housing, household assets, and public infrastructure, prompting many to flee their homes. 1.9 million people (an increase from 1.5 million) will be targeted by the Shelter & NFI Cluster’s response; the increase is more modest due to challenges with access, fuel, market functionality, and banking services. USD$ 212.4 million is required for an adequate shelter response, of which USD$ 125.6 million will be used to scale-up life-saving assistance.
Countless people fleeing for their lives urgently need shelter and NFI assistance, as many, including children, women, elderly, and others with specific needs, find themselves crammed into overcrowded public buildings, or forced to sleep outdoors exposed to severe weather and threats. Immediate provision of shelter will be critical to ensure privacy and safety, mitigate GBV risks, and safeguard displaced populations from harsh environmental conditions to preserve their health amid the upcoming rainy season. Provision of essential household items will be crucial for restoring basic daily activities. Items such as bedding and cooking utensils, solar lamps for safety and security after dark, and solar chargers for maintaining connectivity, as well as mosquito nets to combat the upcoming malaria season, are all vitally important.
The fallout of the escalation in violence includes soaring inflation, scarcity of essential commodities, diminishing cash liquidity and purchasing power, and shortages of energy and fuel for transportation, telecommunications, life-saving medical equipment and cold chain storage, among others. Finding solutions amidst this incredibly constrained environment becomes increasingly challenging.
The Shelter & NFI Cluster will primarily target Eastern Sudan while simultaneously intensifying efforts to reach displaced populations in Darfur, Kordofan, and Khartoum. Attention will also be given to transit locations within the country and along the borders with Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Ethiopia.
The primary objective is to support newly displaced people in open spaces, public buildings and camps, as well as those residing with friends or relatives, including populations in transit at border points or within the country. The focus extends to supporting vulnerable residents in hotspot areas, utilizing community-based structures, and those returning to areas where safety has been restored. Flood-impacted communities and those enduring prolonged displacement will receive targeted aid for shelter repair and replenishment of damaged or stolen items.