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Where to now? Agency expulsions in Sudan: consequences and next steps

Working papers

Written by Sara Pantuliano

On 4 March, the government of Sudan expelled 13 international NGOs and revoked the licences of three national NGOs. In all, 7,610 aid workers have been directly affected in Northern Sudan (including Darfur), where these agencies accounted for 40% of aid workers, delivering more than half the total amount of aid. NGO services – access to water, health and medical services, food rations – have been jeopardised. Assistance to Darfur 's 2.7 million-plus displaced people has been severely compromised, and a number of health-related crisis are already emerging. In the Three Areas, the repercussions of these expulsions could undermine the gains made in realising the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In Eastern Sudan , the expulsion of these agencies has deprived the region of critical food, livelihoods and medical assistance.

This joint ALNAP-HPG paper focuses on the recent expulsion of NGOs from Sudan. It offers a snapshot of what expelled aid agencies were doing, where they were based and the type of assistance they were providing at the time of their departure. It looks at the challenges these agencies had to tackle, how their programmes evolved, the extent to which these agencies had developed contingency plans and the challenges involved in scaling up operations to make up for the shortfall in services. The paper also discusses the immediate implications and suggests ways forward for international NGOs, the UN system and donors.

Sara Pantuliano, Susanne Jaspars and Deepayan Basu Ray