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Where to Now? Agency Expulsions in Sudan: Consequences and Next Steps

ALNAP Lessons Paper


About this resource

Resource type:Lessons papers
Keywords:Access and Negotiation, Conflict, violence & peace, Internal Displacement, NGOs, Refugee Camps, Refugees/IDPs, Remote Programming and Management
Agency:ALNAP, ODI - Overseas Development Institute
Author(s):Pantuliano, S., Jaspars, S. and D. Basu Ray
Date published:2009

On 4 March, the government of Sudan expelled 13 international NGOs and revoked the
licences of three national NGOs.1 In all, 7,610 aid workers – 308 internationals and 7,302
nationals – 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 crises 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 situation has brought the modus operandi of international humanitarian assistance
agencies into sharp focus as those NGOs and UN agencies still in Sudan struggle to plug the gaps.

This ALNAP-HPG paper offers a snapshot of what the expelled 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 remote working capacities and the challenges involved in scaling up operations to make up for the shortfall in services.

Finally, it discusses the immediate implications, as well as suggesting a number of ways
forward for the UN system, donors and international NGOs.

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