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Emergency and early recovery interventions for conflict-affected communities in Darfur
The Darfur crisis entered its tenth year in 2012. Until 2012, ACTED had concentrated its work in the area of West Darfur. In April, West Darfur was split into two States: West and Central Darfur. All of ACTED’s work falls in Central Darfur. Insecurity prevailed in 2012, with continued displacement across the country, particularly in Darfur and the transitional states. Sudan struggled with its deteriorating economy and inflation which negatively impacted the enduring levels of poverty.
ACTED focused on the provision of emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and food vouchers to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and flood-affected communities. In addition, ACTED implemented early recovery interventions for IDPs, host communities and returnees. ACTED also began food security and livelihoods (FSL) programmes for the first time in 2012 and continued to develop its WASH and road rehabilitation activities.
The main factors affecting communities in Central Darfur in 2012 were continued insecurity, flooding, and an outbreak of yellow fever. ACTED continued to meet emergency gaps in Central Darfur in 2012 through emergency WASH promotion activities, such as latrines, water source construction, PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation) and CHAST (Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation) trainings. Waste management activities were also implemented to address urgent sanitation issues developing in IDP camps. ACTED distributed soaps to schools in Central Darfur, supporting hygiene promotion. In addition, ACTED delivered food vouchers to six IDP camps around Zalingei town, targeting 122,809 IDPs. ACTED focused on the urgent needs of communities still affected by conflict and 8,273 individuals from host communities affected by recent crises such as flooding, causing the destruction of homes and livelihoods.
Early recovery interventions
The situation was compounded by a steady deterioration of the Sudanese economy, which accelerated in the aftermath of the separation of South Sudan. By December 2012, inflation reached 45%. Early recovery is integrated into ACTED’s interventions in Sudan as much as possible, when security facilitates it, and when communities are settled and not at high risk of displacement. Early recovery allows communities to develop long-term and sustainable methods to improve their quality of life. This is evident in ACTED’s FSL projects in rural areas of Central Darfur in 2012, where communities receive food inputs but also additional agricultural training to prepare them for future planting seasons following ACTED’s interventions. Where possible, early recovery components were also simultaneously implemented. For example, cash for work activities are included in sanitation work to ensure that IDPs and conflict-affected communities have access to income. Access to cash income can be freely used to develop livelihoods opportunities, support children’s education and allows greater access to basic services such as healthcare. ACTED’s early recovery approach in Darfur focuses on food security and livelihoods, durable water and sanitation facilities and access to basic services through road, bridge and wadi crossing construction.
ACTED is committed to responding efficiently to the crises in Sudan. As was done in 2012, ACTED will continue to engage in an early recovery approach where possible and in accordance with humanitarian strategies. Where appropriate, ACTED will further develop early recovery approaches but without neglecting the persisting need to provide emergency support. In addition, ACTED intends to expand operations to further geographical areas. From 2013 onwards, ACTED intends to expand and diversify its FSL work in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan (where access is possible). This will be supported by ACTED’s first ever FSL department which now exists in Darfur. ACTED will also continue to work with national and international partners and will engage with line ministries and government bodies in the interest of implementing a coordinated humanitarian response to the humanitarian needs of Sudan.
Partners in 2012:
United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), French Embassy in Sudan, World Food Programme (WFP).