Sudan: Relief and Rehabilitation Program for Menza District (North Eastern Sudan)

In collaboration with Amal Trust

At the core of the problem facing by the people of Menza are two main factors: a legacy of economic neglect and exploitation, and the ongoing civil war which is now on the doorstep of exacerbated these conditions, indirectly as the bulk of national revenue is spent on the war, and directly with Menza and Basonga are having themselves recently become war zone/fronts. In January 1997, the Sudan Alliance Forces (SAF) launched a cross-border assault into Menza driving Sudanese government troops further west and securing the region under opposition control. Already living an underdeveloped and rather tenuous existence, war has stripped the people of Menza district of much of their productive capacity and weakened their traditional means of coping with crises, natural and man-made.

Now that the region is under opposition control, whatever infrastructural and other support services were once provided by Karthoum government have been completely lost. There are no all-weather roads in the region, making transportation in the rainy season difficult. Clean drinking water is another problem; there are only two to three hand-dug wells currently in operation in the entire district. Schools are closed and medical needs go unmet.

Normal food supplies will run out in March and, with trading routes with Sudanese communities farther west now cut off, there are few opportunities to compensates for the shortages. Opportunities for trade with communities in nearby Ethiopia are limited because goods produced in Menza are not competitive with the same items produced by Ethiopians. Animal diseases and the complete lack of veterinary services are resulting in high mortality rates among food animals and are exacerbating the problem of food supplies. Many people have only the tattered clothes on their backs or are naked and have no shoes.


  • To provide relief assistance to the economically neglected and now war-stressed Muslim populations of Menza district;
  • To stabilize the physical and psychological states of the beneficiaries (both displaced people and people who have lost productive capacity) to make them less vulnerable to instability caused by war;
  • To improve infrastructure and social services in region through rehabilitation strategies and inputs.


  • Distribution of clothing to the most affected, especially the displaced;

  • Support to food security and agricultural production

- Seed Banks Groups: The aim of the project is to maintain good seeds for cultivation at the beginning of each season and to provide the group with a source of income.

- Grain Storage System: The activity is based on the establishment of communal grain store in three of Menza district’s 14 villages.

1997 - 1998