KHARTOUM, Sudan, July 10, 2020 –United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners have provided life-assistance to about 350,000 people in previously inaccessible parts of the Jebel Marra area, in South Darfur, over the past nine months, overcoming important challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, humanitarians reached different communities for the first time in 10 years, during a need’s assessment carried out at the end of June in the area. According to the preliminary findings of the studies, hundreds of thousands of people across several communities in the region have little or no access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation products, and also lack health, nutrition, education and protection services.
The last mission, led by OCHA, could assess the situation in South Jebel Marra locality, on the boundary between Government-controlled and Sudan Liberation Army – Abdel Wahid (SLA/AW)-controlled areas. According to the community leaders, there are about 127,000 people in Gorlanbang Village alone, including 11,800 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from surrounding villages and 9,400 returnees. The IDP community reported that they have not been able to travel to their home villages since 2017 due to security concerns. Fears of sexual gender-based violence also prevents women from going to their farms or collecting firewood.
In North and West Jebel Marra localities, IOM and other humanitarian partners are completing the registration of people in need and providing emergency humanitarian needs assistance. Other areas of Jebel Marra in Central and South Darfur States are already receiving food, emergency shelter, non-food supplies, health, nutrition, WASH and education services.
The recent missions and assistance provided have been possible following important progress made since the last quarter of 2019 to facilitate humanitarian access to inaccessible communities in Darfur, with support from the Government, non-state actors and the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).