24 September 2007 With the number of flood victims in Sudan rising by at least another 100,000 to well over half a million, United Nations agencies and their partners are putting contingency measures into effect to respond to the emergency despite a $19 million funding shortfall.
“We have worked closely with all partners, including Government and non-governmental organizations to ensure that contingency plans were in place,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Ameerah Haq said. “We were therefore in a position to respond to this new wave effectively.”
Most of the new damage is located in the state of Southern Kordofan, located in Central Sudan, east of South Darfur. At least 15,000 homes there were destroyed or damaged, affecting at least 75,000 people, of whom some 30,000 are now estimated to be homeless. Over 20 people were killed and some 65 injured. The damage to local livelihoods and the economy is also huge, with over 13,000 livestock lost.
“We had based our response planning on an assumption that, in addition to 410,000 people already affected by the end of August, up to an additional 215,000 people could be affected by new flooding after then, potentially totalling up to 625,000 for the emergency,” said John Clarke, a UN official at the forefront of the response.
Across all of northern Sudan, the UN is now providing clean water, mainly through chlorination, to 2.2 million people, to prevent deadly waterborne epidemics, and this is believed to be a factor in the lower number of cases of acute water diarrhoea than in previous years, despite the fact that this year’s flooding, according to numerous sources, has been the worst in living memory.
Since mid-April, 1,323 suspected cases of acute water diarrhoea were reported in the state of Gedaref, leading to 68 known deaths; while the 2006 outbreak, lasting from April to November, led to more than 9,000 cases throughout northern Sudan.
The UN launched a Flash Appeal last month for $20.2 million to fund the ongoing response, but only $1 million has so far been received.