The recent economic, political and security crisis following the end of Omar al-Bashir’s regime in 2019 has reinforced a 60-year-old humanitarian crisis. The situation of already precarious and vulnerable populations, such as refugees and displaced persons, has worsened. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 9,3 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020, representing 23% of the country’s population. The lack of sufficient immunization coverage and adequate and functional water and sanitation infrastructure has resulted in frequent disease and epidemics. The chronic lack of investment, which varies from region to region, insecurity, and occasional natural disasters have weakened an already fragile health and education system. .
Description of the mission
From 2009 to 2018, international NGOs were banned from the country. As the country reopened to international aid following the revolution, Première Urgence Internationale, in 2020, has rapidly deployed activities in South Kordofan, a region close to the border with South Sudan. This territory, confronted with many years of civil conflict, is one of the areas of the country most neglected by public services, particularly in the area of health. Only 55% of the region’s health facilities are still functioning at a minimum level. Drug shortages and a lack of medical equipment are common, and qualified medical personnel have deserted the area.
The NGO’s presence in Sudan allowed for a rapid assessment of the situation in the Gedaref region. There, 60 000 Ethiopians have found refuge following the war in the Tigray region, neighboring Sudan, in late 2020. Première Urgence Internationale supports refugees and host communities in Gedaref State since mid-2021.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
In South Kordofan, Première Urgence Internationale, in consortium with Triangle génération humanitaire (TGH), is implementing an integrated strategy to respond to the needs of rural populations in the Abassiya district. The NGO is working to restore sustainable health care coverage by strengthening the capacities of existing health services. In order to reduce mortality and morbidity, Première Urgence Internationale ensures that the population has access to the minimum primary health care package. This includes vaccination, nutrition, maternal and reproductive health services, all supported by a community approach to managing access to care. A strong epidemiological surveillance and early warning system among the populations has been put in place through the consolidation of coordination systems at the health district level and the training of medical personnel.
In Gedaref State, Première Urgence Internationale implements activities in the localities hosting the new Ethiopian refugee camps. These projects, following the NGO’s integrated response approach, aim at supporting several primary and secondary health structures, in order to ensure access to basic health services for all refugees as well as for the local population.