1.1 Sudan Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration 

Natural Disasters 



Comments / Details 



There is a risk of drought especially in the Northern Areas, where the climate is extremely arid. In addition, the situation may be worsened by the strong El Nino/La Nina phenomenon envisaged for 2016 conditions 






Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Measles 

Extreme Temperatures 





May – October 

Insect Infestation 


Desert locust outbreaks occurred on the Red Sea coast in Sudan and Eritrea during 2015 



Possibility during the rains May – October 

Volcanic Eruptions 



High Waves / Surges 


Sudan has 863 km coastline to the Red Sea and 1436 km of navigable rivers. 



Fires are also experienced in the Internally Displaced Persons camps.

High Winds 


In Sudan, sandstorms (locally called “Haboob”) are frequent, especially in the period that precedes the rainy season (March-May) and during the rainy season. Haboob is a strong dry wind blowing over the desert that raises and carries along clouds of sand or dust often so dense as to obscure the sun and reduce visibility almost to zero. 

Other Comments 

The Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin published on a regular basis by OCHA provides relevant updates on the humanitarian scenario:  

Man-Made Issues 

Civil Strife 


Previous internal insecurity in Darfur, Blue Nile, White Nile and Kordofan states 

International Conflict 


Insecurity at some border areas in South Sudan 

Internally Displaced Persons 


Darfur, Blue Nile states and Kordofan conflicts.  

Refugees Present 


In Darfur there are Chadian refugees while in the eastern part of the Country (Kassala area) there are Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees. There is also a very high influx of population movement from South Sudan to Sudan, in White Nile, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states 

Landmines / UXO Present 


UXOs are a threat, especially in South Kordofan and Blue Nile 

Other Comments 


For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile. 

Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacities 

Seasonal Effects on Transport 

Transport Type 

Time Frame 

Comments / Details 

Primary Road Transport 


The primary roads (Port Sudan to Khartoum/Kosti/El Obeid) are drivable throughout the year. 

Secondary Road Transport 

May – October 

During the rainy season, some roadways are inaccessible due to floods or high waters. Truckload capacity are reduced to 50% to overcome muddy roads causing delays in the distributions.   

Rail Transport 

May – October 

During the rainy season, wash ways have caused sectors the of the rail tracks to be out of use. Operational speed is reduced from 40 Kph to 20 Kph. 

Air Transport 

May – September 

Poor visibility caused by the “haboob”, a violent dust storm, can occur in central Sudan when the moist south-westerly flow first arrives (May through July to September). The presence of dangerous clouds affects visibility and flight safety during the rainy season. 

Waterway Transport 


During the dry season, some parts of the Nile River are not navigable. 

The climate ranges from hyper-arid in the north to tropical wet-and-dry in the far southwest. The most significant climatic variables are rainfall and the length of the dry season. From January to March, there is practically no rainfall countrywide except for a small area in north-western Sudan. By early April up to October the country is affected by heavy rains and thunderstorms.   

El Niño effects often impact the country. It significantly impacted the 2015 rainy season with delayed rains, below-average rainfall and intermittent dry spells. This caused reduced cultivation areas, delayed planting, poor pastures and limited water availability for both people and their livestock. These impacts are threatening essential agricultural and livestock production across Sudan.  

The Airports and Ports (Othma Digna Port) have allocated facilities for the Hadj pilgrims, however short periods of congestion are experienced in the vicinity at the departure and returning points. 

Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling 

Activity Type 

Time Frame 

Comments Details 


May – October 

Warehouse maintenance is crucial to avoid water and moisture damage; regular ventilation should be ensured to prevent damp commodities. Although infestation levels are moderate, immediate dispatches to ensure quick stock-rotation is recommended. Quality checks are needed to minimise infestations and losses, especially in main hubs such as El Obeid; quality control is key for an efficient emergency response. 


May – October 

Heavy rains would significantly affect the handling capacity at the Port causing delays in dispatches. In Port Sudan rains are much weaker in comparison to the rest of the country; however cargo loaded on trucks and wagons (for rail transport) needs to be carefully secured and cocooned (wrapped, covered) in tarpaulins to avoid water seepage while in transit. 


May – October 

Due to road deterioration caused by heavy rains, deliveries to the distribution sites can be significantly delayed. 

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response 


All issues concerning any kind of emergency are addressed through the Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, who will activate internal resources within the Government of the Republic of Sudan and the relevant ministries.  

There are four Area Security Teams within in the Republic of Sudan. 

Khartoum reporting through to the Designated Officials.  

El Obeid reporting through to the Designated Officials.      

Darfur reporting through UNAMID  

Abyei reporting through UNISFA 

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Sudan Government Contact List 

Humanitarian Community

The humanitarian coordination meeting structure in Sudan is composed of several interlinked coordination fora at strategic and operational levels, both in Khartoum and in the field. Information is systemically shared between these meetings in order to ensure inter-connectivity between them. The following are the humanitarian coordination meetings which OCHA (co-)support: 

  • Humanitarian Country Team (HCT)  
  • Core Group  
  • Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG)     
  • Area Humanitarian Coordination Team (A/HCT)        
  • Area Inter-Sector Coordination Group (A/ISCG)       
  • HC - Donor Consultation Group (DCG)  
  • Ambassadorial Country Coordination Forum (CCF)  
  • GoS - UN and Partners Humanitarian Coordination 
  • GoS Security and Safety Committee meeting  
  • OCHA HoO - INGO Forum Steering Committee Meeting     
  • HCT Access Working Group (AWG) 
  • HCT Information and Advocacy Working Group 
  • Bi-monthly Humanitarian Briefing  
  • Hybrid meetings (combining HCT, ISCG and donors, as well as government as required). 

There are eleven Clusters/Sectors in Sudan, each with a Sector Lead and a co-Lead from Government side. Meetings are scheduled on a regular basis (bi-weekly, monthly or ad hoc). Inter-Sectoral Coordination Group (ISCG) meetings are held bi-weekly and chaired by OCHA, who reports to the Humanitarian Country Team. 


Co-ordination and Common Services UN OCHA  

Education - UNICEF  

Food Security and Livelihoods FA0 – WFP 

Health - WHO 

Logistics and Emergency Telecommunications (LET) - WFP 

Emergency Shelter& Non-Food Items (ES&NFI) - UNHCR ES/NFI  

Nutrition - UNICEF 

Protection - UNHCR 

Return Recovery and (Re)-Integration - UNDP 

Refugee Multi Sector - UNHCR 

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene - UNICEF  

For additional data visit  

The Sudan INGO steering committee represents INGOs in Sudan. 

The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), functions as the highest country-level international humanitarian coordination platform. The HCT meets on a monthly basis (or on ad-hoc when needed) and involves the following organizations: 

  1. WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHABITAT, UNHCR, IOM, FAO, WHO, OCHA, 2 x INGO Forum SC (designated by INGO community in Sudan), one Islamic organization (IICO) and one national organisation (SCOVA) as members.  
  2. ICRC, IFRC, SRCS, MSF and UNAMID as observers.  
  3. The Deputy HC will participate through tele-conference or in person when needed. 
  4. When appropriate, other institutions and agencies may be invited to participate in HCT meetings, or a joint meeting will be organised as necessary. 

For more information on humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 4.2 Sudan Humanitarian Agency Contact List



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