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Displaced People Receive Emergency Shelter Materials in South Darfur

Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

The Emergency Rapid Response Mechanism (ERRM) of the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) is implemented through unearmarked funds included in ongoing projects that can be accessed in the event of a rapid-onset emergency.

The mechanism allows the SHF to respond quickly to emergencies through partners already active on the ground. These partners have already obtained authorities’ approvals for project activities, and they have a solid understanding of the operational environment and close relationships with affected communities. This makes the ERRM an effective tool for a rapid immediate emergency response.

One example is NGO Alight’s recent use of SHF ERRM funds to provide rapid emergency shelter and non-food items (NFIs) assistance to hundreds of families in the Majok internally displaced persons (IDP) camp, near Nyala, South Darfur.

In April 2022, intercommunal violence in Gereida forced over 400 households to leave their IDP settlements in Dikka, Hadoob, Tweil and abu Jabra village in the Gereida locality and seek shelter in the Majok IDP camp. IDPs continued arriving at the camp over the next month, and their most urgent needs were met by humanitarian organizations already on site. Once the situation stabilized in early May, an inter-agency needs assessment was conducted in the camp. 

After the assessment, Alight submitted a concept note to the SHF for rapid shelter and NFI response. The SHF provided swift feedback based on consultations with sector coordinators and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs sub-office, while Alight continued coordination discussions with the International Organization for Migration on the ground. The final version was approved four days after the concept note was submitted, and Alight began emergency shelter and NFI distribution using a smaller portion of the ERRM than originally proposed, as agreed through the SHF consultations. 

Alight staff working in the area under the ongoing SHF project verified and registered beneficiaries and began procuring shelter materials. After two additional coordination meetings with local organizations and the community, and within three weeks of Alight submitting the ERRM concept note, all targeted 1,250 IDPs (250 families) had a fit-for-purpose shelter.

Lisa Mavisi, Alight’s Grant and Business Development Manager explained: “At the time of doing an inter-agency assessment to determine the needs, the displaced people were living in open areas with some sheltering under trees. At the same time, they were fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, creating a particularly challenging situation. We started the shelter distribution on 26 May and finished on 30 May. Through working with all Emergency Shelter/NFIs sector partners, the Humanitarian Aid Commission and community leaders, we were able to assist all 250 families, allowing us to meet 100 per cent of our target. An additional 147 families will receive NFIs and kitchen sets, resulting in 397 families receiving NFIs and kitchen sets in June. The distribution of NFIs and kitchen sets was planned on a different day to prevent overcrowding and timed after IDPs set up their structures to secure the additional assistance. » 

Because Alight used only the portion of the ERRM necessary for the shelter and NFI response, it was able to call on the fast and flexible ERRM arrangement once again with the remaining portion of the funds, this time for an urgent nutrition response at the stabilization centre in Kalma camp, in June 2022. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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