Sudan | Programme areas | Emergency preparedness and humanitarian action

Emergency preparedness and humanitarian action

Print PDF

Amidst the complex and dynamic humanitarian situation in Sudan, WHO continues to provide technical support to the Government and its partners in implementing interventions to save lives and reduce the suffering of millions affected by natural and man-made disasters.

The emergency preparedness and humanitarian action programme aims to improve access for vulnerable populations to quality primary and secondary health care services that include basic health and emergency referral services and to strengthen local capacity to predict, prepare for, respond to, mitigate and manage health risks, including communicable diseases and seasonal emergencies.


WHO in Darfur continues to lead the humanitarian response and coordination in the health sector and has strengthened interventions, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions. Activities are geared towards reducing health consequences of emergencies and conflicts, and minimizing their social and economic impact on internally-displaced persons (IDP) and vulnerable populations.  

By the end of 2011, an estimated 1.9 million people were still living in IDP camps in Darfur. This includes some 70 000 newly-displaced persons due to fighting which erupted in 2011. Interventions are focused on emergency preparedness, improved response, capacity-building, service delivery, need assessments, essential medicines and medical  supplies, monitoring and supervision, environmental health, strengthening health systems; all aimed at health and human security and development.

North Darfur profile and major activities

South Darfur profile and major activities

West Darfur profile and major activities

East Sudan

Over the years, east Sudan has been affected by a number of public health outbreaks. Vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the region. WHO uses a three-pronged approach to fight these diseases focusing on vector control, water quality monitoring and health care waste management to promote environmental health.  

To mitigate the effects of any gaps in the availability and utilization of health services, WHO and the State Ministry of Health, together with health partners, are building the capacity of health workers and continue to provide essential medicines and medical supplies to health facilities in the region.

East Sudan profile and major activities

Protocol Areas: Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan

After the separation of South Sudan from Sudan, conflicts erupted in each of the Protocol Areas, namely Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The term Protocol Areas derives from the fact that these areas were the subject of special protocols within the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005.

The crisis has resulted in large-scale population displacements, destruction of health facilities and collapse of the disease surveillance system. Amidst the challenges of gaining access due to security issues, WHO continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure timely delivery of health services to affected populations, provide life-saving medicines to functioning health facilities and to revitalize the disease surveillance system.

Abyei profile and major activities

Blue Nile profile and major activities

South Kordofan profile and major activities

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 38 435
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 11.6
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 311
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.6
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 64.1

Source: Country statistical profiles 2016

See Sudan country profile

Regional Health Observatory