The first case of COVID-19 in Sudan was reported on March 13, 2020, two days after it was declared a global pandemic. The Government of Sudan (GoS) were swift to implement a broad swathe of measures to curtail the spread of the virus, however with variable degree of efficiency. With inability to ascertain the transmission chain for most COVID-19 case, Sudan has established community transmission within two months of the first case. As of July 22, over 11,200 people had contracted the virus, including 708 who died from the disease.
Sudan is undergoing a fragile and volatile, which path is thwarted by a legacy of war and conflict, grinding poverty and economic crisis, weak government institutions, and a large protracted humanitarian and protection crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further compromised the ability of the GoS to respond to the economic crisis and posed an immediate threat on the population to cope with the multiple crises the country. In the absence of a viable vaccine or antiviral, the stringent containment and physical distancing measures undertaken by the GoS to combat COVID-19 were consistent with the traditional public health measures employed globally. However, this approach spawned considerable challenges for resource-poor settings like Sudan. Various reports predict an increase in the burden of major epidemic diseases in Sudan: Malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS. Despite overall economic stagnation for Sudan in 2020, IMF further forecasted a 4-10 percent drop in GDP due to the combined impact of the economic crises and COVID-19 prevention measures. More than 9.6 million people in Sudan are now severely food insecure because of rising food prices and inability to participate in income-generating activities due to COVID-19.
In line with the EUTF interventions advancing the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus in Sudan, the EU COVID-19 Response Sudan project will strengthen the health system in Sudan to mount a context-specific public health response for the COVID-19 pandemic with a view to slow the transmission of the virus while maintaining essential health services and preparing the pubic for a ‘new normal’ post-lockdown. This will have a salutary effect on the overall resilience of the health system, particularly the effective response to other infectious disease outbreaks the country has been prevalent over the last five years. The project has four main outcomes areas to strengthen the capacity of the health system (1) supporting governance and coordination of the emergency response; (2) ramping up surveillance, rapid response and testing capacity; (3) building sustainable capacity for isolation and case management; and (4) supporting risk communication and WASH in health facilities.
Timely implementation is key to achieving the outcomes of EU COVID-19 Response Sudan project. Therefore, the international consultant will be solicited to increase the project team’s implementation and monitoring capacity. He/she will be providing support to the project manager on planning, monitoring and reporting of the grant activities and ensuring the effective use of the grant budget in accordance with the grant contract.