Rapid assessment of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on Khartoum, West Kordofan and East Darfur, Sudan

More than 1,500 households from forcibly displaced and host communities and over 460 enterprises were surveyed in the States of Khartoum, East Darfur, and West Kordofan, followed by a number of focus group discussions at different levels. The assessment summarizes their responses and provides an overview of the socioeconomic impacts and the government’s responses during the COVID-19 crisis in Sudan.

As the impact of the crisis deepens around the world, governments, social partners, multilateral agencies, donors, and other national and international stakeholders will need access to relevant data on the socio- economic impacts of COVID-19 at national and local level. In the Sudanese context, these data are sparse at best, entirely missing at worst.

To that end, the purpose of the assignment is to support the International Labour Organization (ILO), its sister UN Agencies, national stakeholders, and civil society at large, by conducting rapid assessments in the intervention areas and selected urban centres on the impacts of COVID-19 on jobs, livelihoods and key elements of the local socio-economic environment, including social cohesion. The assessment is funded by the ILO PROSPECTS programme, an inter-agency partnership between the ILO, UNHCR, UNICEF, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, spearheaded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The partnership works towards delivering change within the refugee, internally displaced, returnee and host community populations in East Darfur and West Kordofan across three pillars: 1. Education and learning, 2. Employment with dignity and 3. Protection and inclusion.

The rapid assessment is expected to assist in informing medium-term post-crisis recovery strategies for the PROSPECTS programme, supporting governments, including local governments, social partners and other stakeholders in this process. It is possible that the crisis could undermine gains made in improved policy and programmatic responses to forced displacement, further reinforcing the importance of targeted interventions to support efforts to avoid such negative impacts.

This report assesses the impact of COVID-19 on several aspects: (a) income and employment; (b) businesses; (c) access to basic services; (d) social protection; (e) social cohesion; as well as other socio- economic aspects. It follows a mixed method approach combining a survey of 1,575 households, a survey of 464 enterprises, FGD and KII implemented in three selected states: Khartoum, West Kordofan and East Darfur. The report shows the impact of COVID-19 and related preventive measures across states and the following groups: host communities, internally displaced persons (IDP), refugees, and pastoralist communities.