In regions Sudan and Africa and in groups Sudan and Africa


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2023-12 Factsheet - Sudan

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As of March 2023, the IOM's DTM Round 6 already documented 3.8 million IDPs in Sudan. Yet, a dramatic turn occurred on April 15th 2023 when a severe armed conflict erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). In 8 and a half months, this resulted in an alarming displacement of 7.5 million people. Of these, 5.9 million found themselves newly internally displaced, while the remaining 1.6 million sought refuge in neighboring countries. The ferocity and indiscriminate nature of the clashes have not only caused substantial civilian casualties, but also led to widespread destruction of vital infrastructure, housing, and household assets.

May-revised HRP ’23 identified 5.7 million people in need of shelter and NFI assistance – a figure likely underestimated judging by the steep trend of displacement. With 44% of its conservative HRP requirement funded, the Shelter and NFI Cluster struggles to mount a sufficient response. Since the onset of 2023, the cluster has supported 603,695 Sudanese people and 282,215 refugees. However, the relentless flow of displacements casts a shadow over this accomplishment, making it seem almost negligible against the backdrop of the 5.9 million people who've been compelled to abandon their homes and move to safer parts of Sudan. As displacement continues unabated, the real needs substantially outstrip the current support.



Need analysis

At the onset of the crisis on April 15, 2023, Shelter and NFI needs were already acute, exacerbated by significant underfunding of the Cluster. Underserved communities, forced to depend on their sparse resources for reconstruction, inadvertently amplified existing vulnerabilities and exposure to recurring hazards. The intensity of the new clashes and their indiscriminate nature is now causing widespread devastation to housing, household assets and public infrastructure, prompting many to leave their homes.

In 8.5 months of the SAF-RSF conflict, 5.9 million people have been newly displaced across Sudan according to IOM DTM, and urgently need Shelter and NFI assistance, as many, including children, women, elderly, and others with specific needs, find themselves crammed into overcrowded shelters, public buildings, or forced to sleep outdoors exposed to severe weather and threats. Immediate provision of adequate shelter is critical to ensure privacy and safety, mitigate GBV risk, and safeguard displaced populations from harsh environmental conditions. 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 malaria season, are all vitally important.


Since the beginning of the year, cluster partners have provided diverse forms of shelter and NFI assistance to 603,695 Sudanese people and 282,215 refugees.

This includes 439,575 IDPs, returnees and vulnerable residents, that were supported post April 15, across 18 states – North Darfur, Gedaref, West Darfur, Red Sea, White Nile, Northern, Blue Nile, River Nile, Aj Jazirah, South Darfur, Kassala, Sennar, East Darfur, South Kordofan, North Kordofan, Central Darfur, West Kordofan and Khartoum. In an effort to alleviate their situation, partners distributed 79,286 NFI kits, 4,827 cash vouchers for NFI kits, 3,371 emergency shelter kits, 2,130 tents, and 388 cash grants for shelter repair. Moreover, 60 cash grants were provided for shelter, and 30 communal shelters were set up, while 5 generators were distributed to health facilities.

This also includes 211,880 refugees, supported post April 15, across 8 states – White Nile, Gedaref, East Darfur, Kassala, North Darfur, Blue Nile and Aj Jazirah, with 37,580 NFI kits, 7,537 emergency shelter kits, 3,700 cash grants for shelter, 3,074 tents and 30 communal shelters. Additionally, 6 camps in White Nile and neighboring communities benefited from construction of embankments for flood mitigation, while 4 camps in Gedaref underwent desilting of the drains for flood preparedness, as well as prepositioning of excavators for the rapid response amidst flood emergencies.

Gaps / challenges

At year-end, the Shelter and NFI Cluster's funding reached 43.2% of its May-revised 2023 HRP financial requirement, an apparent improvement from previous years. Yet, this is insufficient considering the record-high displacement rate, far surpassing the May-revised HRP's conservative estimate of 1.8 million new IDPs at year’s end. With the actual figure reaching a striking 5.9 million, this substantial gap highlights the challenges that current funding levels face in addressing escalating humanitarian needs.

IOM DTM consistently ranks Shelter/NFI among the top three needs, highlighting the urgent assistance required for the 5.9 million internally displaced since 15 April. With only 603,695 individuals assisted, the gap is a significant 90%. This underscores that realities on the ground are outgrowing the assumptions made in the revised HRP and the related FTS funding data at a rapid pace and scale.

Thankfully, the majority of IDPs find shelter within the host community, often in more stable housing forms. However, as the conflict prolongs and economic strains intensify, this communal support is waning. Local hosting capacities are diminishing, leading to an increasing number of IDPs seeking refuge in inadequate gathering sites due to lack of alternatives. This concerning trend is highlighted by IOM’s DTM data where early June figures showed only 13% of IDPs in these sites, a number which has now jumped to 26% at the end of the year and continues to increase. This situation underscores the critical need for more funding to support cash-for-rent and shelter provisions in host communities, to prevent IDPs from turning to the streets or overcrowded, inadequate sites.

Insecurity has led to significant access issues, jeopardizing the safety of personnel and supplies due to widespread looting. Disruption of supply chains coupled with the Sudanese pound's depreciation, is driving inflation, adversely affecting local procurement and, crucially, transportation, as fuel prices soar. Our logistics-dependent sector is now facing diminished returns in shelter/NFI interventions with the same funding. Concurrently, low cash liquidity in banks is affecting cash-based interventions, leading to greater reliance on mobile banking. Therefore, and given the extensive damage to infrastructure, connectivity interventions and solar charging are increasingly becoming critical lifesaving tools.

Despite these challenges, existing robust systems are proving effective. Well-established global framework agreements and international procurement have facilitated economies of scale, enabling cost-effective bulk purchases of Shelter and NFIs. The cross-border mission from Chad has successfully distributed over 10,000 NFI kits in West and Central Darfur and is expanding to North Darfur. Efforts to establish another cross-border operation from South Sudan aim to aid South and East Darfur, West and South Kordofan, and White Nile. Additionally, many partners are using land routes from Egypt and Ethiopia to supply Shelter and NFI materials.

Although the issue of inaccessibility in Sudan is significant, it’s crucial to stress that our primary limitation remains resource availability, which falls short of our capacity to overcome access barriers. Our current resource ceiling is lower than our accessibility ceiling, indicating that additional resources could enable us to assist many more people before reaching the limits of accessibility.