Protracted insurgencies are being waged by armed groups across Darfur, and persistent conflict situations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile cause high levels of insecurity. Darfur has been the scene of conflict for over a decade, while violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan increased significantly after South Sudan gained independence in 2011.  Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted and remains so despite efforts of the AU and UN to broker a peace agreement and ensure increased humanitarian access.  Violence, food insecurity, malnutrition, and lack of access to basic services have ca used large-scale internal displacement.  According to INFORM, Sudan is at high risk of being overwhelmed by humanitarian crises and disasters (7/10). Hazard, vulnerability, and a lack of coping capacity are at alarming rates of 7.4/10, 6.6/10, and 7/10

Latest Developments

28/05: There are currently 417,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan in need of humanitarian assistance, with more expected to arrive before the rains start in June.??

21/05: In White Nile state, the GAM rate among children is higher than 15% and the SAM rate is over 2%. ?

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Key figures

  • 4,800,000 People in Need  [?]
  • 2,300,000 IDPs  [?]
  • 3,600,000 Severely Food Insecure  [?]
  • 137,000 South Sudanese Refugees in 2017  [?]

Key priorities

Health: Outbreaks, especially of water-borne diseases, are placing strain on limited health services, and medicine shortages are reported country-wide. Health and hygiene promotion is needed to prevent the spread of diseases in many parts of the country. 3.9 million are in need of healthcare. ?

Food security: 3.6 million people are facing Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC Phases 3 and 4).?

Protection: Civilians are at risk due to insecurity across Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. 3.3 million people are in need of protection assistance.?


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Information Gaps and needs

  • Access to Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile is strictly limited by the government, making it almost impossible to verify accounts of ceasefire violations from either side of the conflict. 
  • Most of the available data is based on the needs inside refugee and IDP camps, therefore the extent of information is largely limited to the condition of displaced people.
  • Moreover, access restrictions limit data on the numbers and needs of displaced populations: this is currently of particular concern in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur and the Two Areas.

Lessons learned

  • Delivery of aid supplies and services is often challenged by sudden and large increases in the number of new arrivals to IDP and refugee sites. There are frequent logistical and physical challenges to the delivery of assistance, including poor road conditions.?
  • The prevention of aid delivery is regularly used as a weapon of war. The government has previously been accused of only allowing food distributions in areas it controls, refusing permission for assistance to be delivered to civilians in opposition-held areas.?
  • The May­-September dry season is the most challenging time for pastoralists. Insecurity and conflict also hinder the migration of cattle south, resulting in concentrations of livestock. Restricted migratory patterns increase the risk of conflict between farmers and cattle herders as they compete over access to resources.?
  • SGBV is commonly used as a weapon of war in Darfur. Access to survivors is difficult: many are reluctant to come forward due to fear of stigmatisation.?
  • Sudan is at high risk from certain natural hazards in particular floods and drought. On average, floods affect some 200,000 people every year.

Key documents

Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium


Looking back to look ahead? Reviewing key lessons from Operation Lifeline Sudan and past humanitarian operations in South Sudan

Crisis Group Africa


The Chaos in Darfur

Evolution of the Two Areas Conflict, 2014-15


Two Fronts, One War

Rapid Support Forces Attacks against Civilians in Darfur, Sudan


Men With No Mercy