IOM Donates Ambulance to Support Conflict-Affected Communities in North Darfur
El Fasher -(31/03/2022) This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, donated a new ambulance to Sarfaya village, an area previously affected by conflict in North Darfur to strengthen health services and assistance in an official handover ceremony to the State Ministry of Health in El Fasher, North Darfur.
In Sudan, approximately 81 per cent of the population does not have access to a functional health centre within a two-hour walk from their home, according to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), compiled by the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In rural areas, where the ability to access healthcare facilities is extremely limited, those in need of medical assistance often have to travel long distances to reach the nearest facilities. A lack of ambulances and primary healthcare services in remote areas in Darfur, like Sarfaya, has meant communities often experience life-threatening delays in receiving appropriate urgent health responses.
Communicable diseases like cholera, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and diarrhoea leading to malnutrition among children and pregnant and lactating mothers are common in the area.
“We hope this ambulance will help significantly reduce delays in emergency response and ensure community members have access to immediate care, particularly those in hard-to-reach areas and difficult terrains," said Dario Festa, IOM’s Regional Coordinator in Darfur during the handover ceremony.
“IOM, together with partners will continue its efforts to strengthen and improve access to essential services and enhance community resilience and stabilization in areas hit by crises and conflict in Sudan” he added.
The Director-General of the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohamed Idris, stressed that strengthening the local healthcare services is one of the priorities of the ministry and praised the Organization’s continuous support and effective contribution to health programming in the country.
Also speaking at the handover ceremony, the community leader from Sarfaya, Sheikh Abul Rahim said, “Our community in Sarafya greatly appreciates the efforts made by the Ministry of Health and its active partners such as IOM and donors. IOM’s interventions over the years, in the areas of infrastructure, health, water and livelihoods have contributed to encouraging returns back to our community, bringing us together, and reducing youth migration.”
Sarfaya and surrounding villages in El Fasher rural areas were among some of the most severely affected by the previous conflicts in Darfur which resulted in large numbers of displacement over the years.
Since 2018, as the situation in Darfur became more stable, IOM has worked closely with local partners to create conditions for sustainable returns in Sarafya and neighbouring villages to improve access to basic services and promotion of social cohesion. Since then, more than 22,000 people have returned to Sarfaya. This programme is part of IOM's long-standing commitment to Durable Solutions in Sudan.
The donation of the ambulance was made possible as part of the generous US $ 1.6 million grant from the Government of Japan to promote community stabilization and support conflict-affected communities in Sudan.
IOM will continue to deliver multi-sectoral interventions through increasing access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), provision of primary health-care services, and improved livelihoods opportunities, with particular attention to women and youth. Under this project, an estimated 30,000 displaced people, returnees and vulnerable communities affected by conflict and displacement will benefit in North Darfur, West Darfur, and South Kordofan states.
For more information, please contact, IOM Sudan Email: email@example.com