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Strengthening gender focus in humanitarian action in Sudan

Recently positioned as the Gender Advisor of the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), UN Women Sudan is working proactively with humanitarian actors to ensure gender-sensitive humanitarian response and action in the country. With over 1.2 million refugees, and nearly 3 million internally displaced people, Sudan is facing a huge humanitarian crisis, expected to escalate under the current political and economic crises.

To strengthen gender mainstreaming in humanitarian action, UN Women Sudan is conducting an assessment titled; “Rapid Gender Assessment of the Humanitarian Context, Crises and Response in Sudan.” The assessment is intended to identify how gender issues are integrated into humanitarian intervention, reflect on gender inequalities, challenges and barriers facing humanitarian action and actors and provide strategic recommendations to engender humanitarian action in Sudan. The study is expected to be published by the end of August 2022.

Despite the conclusion of the Juba Peace Agreement 2020, the humanitarian situation in Sudan continues to worsen. The number of security incidents is rising in Sudan, with inter-communal violence in West Darfur, West Kordofan, South Kordofan, Red Sea and recently in the Blue Nile State.

In July 2022, the Blue Nile Region witnessed inter-communal conflict between Hausa and Fong tribes. About 14,000 people were displaced between the 14th and the 17th of July 2022. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has so far registered 97 deaths related to the violence, according to the UNHCT in Sudan report. The crises affected over 1,985 women and girls. Currently living in IDP camps, the Blue Nile girls and women are facing food insecurity and remain in dire need of immediate hygiene and protection support as well as trauma counselling and treatment.

In response, UN Women Sudan has coordinated with Sudanese women groups to unite their efforts, and maximize the impact of their humanitarian response, and ensure that gender perspective is mainstreamed in all aspects of the humanitarian response; that women and girls are equally consulted to understand and address their needs and vulnerabilities; that women’s leadership is leveraged; that gender is integrated into humanitarian assessments, reporting and monitoring tools; and that gender experts are included in the humanitarian teams responding to the crisis.

“Although this conflict is between men, and no single woman is involved; The first and last victims in this conflict are women,” said Amina, a member of a leading women’s group in Blue Nile state.

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