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Humanitarian Response Situation Update

The conflict in Darfur continues to displace thousands of people and has put women and children at greater risk for sexual violence.

While the Comprehensive Peace Agreement has brought some stability to South Sudan and diminished the level of violence throughout the country, the Darfur crisis continues to undermine the country’s progress. Violence has increased in the region since the Darfur Peace Agreement was signed in May of 2006. The upsurge has included targeted attacks on aid workers and AU peacekeepers, which has adversely affected their ability to access the four million people who are in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

Protecting Women and Children

In Darfur, sexual violence takes place as women flee their homes and villages, within IDP camps and within the home. Women have been raped and attacked when going out to fetch firewood, find grass or straw to sell, build huts, or farm and mill. As the conflict continues year after year, there are increased reports of violence inside the IDP camps, including domestic violence and women’s involvement in high risk activities.

The UNFPA emergency intervention programme is implementing a comprehensive plan of interventions to improve reproductive health services, raise awareness and provide counselling on reproductive health related issues including gender-based violence (GBV). UNFPA supports the State Ministry of Health and international NGOs in providing life savitng and life sustaining reproductive health care, and is the coordinating agency for all country-wide efforts to combat GBV.

  • 4,200 emergency RH kits were distributed throughout Darfur, including clean delivery kits and post-rape kits, to help clinics provide health care for GBV survivors.

  • 1,620 sheiks, police officers, lawyers, paralegals, teachers, and community workers have participated in general GBV training and in training specific to their areas of expertise. Nurses and midwives
    received training on GBV counselling, and over 750 health care providers were trained in comprehensive
    emergency reproductive health, including clinical management of rape, prevention of HIV/AIDs and other STIs, and use of post-rape emergency RH kits.

  • UNFPA supports four women’s centres in IDP camps in North Darfur. The centres offer skills training and income-generating activities. They also serve as neutral meeting places where discussion groups on GBV issues, celebrations, and health awareness and education sessions can take place. Approximately 1,000 IDP women benefit from these programmes.

  • In South and West Darfur, UNFPA supports women’s centres that offer women’s empowerment activities in IDP camps. Many of the women were trained in pottery making and sell what they make to help support their families. The centres also offer literacy classes and raise awareness on gender-based violence. 2,100 women who live within and outside of the camp benefited from the programme.

  • The Emergency Response team has been assisting referral hospitals and emergency obstetric facilities that provide medical care for IDPs and conflict
    affected persons through repair and rehabilitation,
    staff training, and provision of medical supplies and equipment. In collaboration with WHO and the MOH, UNFPA also set up a GBV unit in Al Geneina hospital in West Darfur with a specialized telephone hotline for victims.

Working with Youth

The young people of Darfur had many responsibilities at home. They cultivated the land, took care of cattle, and produced charcoal. Some attended schools. The youth who have been forced to flee the conflict, however, have been left with little to do in displacement camps throughout Sudan.

  • UNFPA and its partners established youth centres and raised awareness on HIV/AIDS in Darfur.

  • In collaboration with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, UNFPA launched a training programme for young people in three IDP camps. Camp health workers were trained in youth counselling and communication on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS to camp communities. Community centres in the camps were rehabilitated and equipped to accommodate youth activities.