The rapid expansion of Sudan’s towns and cities confronts humanitarian and development agencies with new and complex challenges.
Over the past four decades the cities and towns of Sudan have experienced dramatic population growth. Urbanisation has occurred in a context of poor governance, decreasing job opportunities, deepening social and economic insecurity and conflict-induced displacement. Growing numbers of poor and vulnerable urban dwellers live in abject poverty, are vulnerable to a range of daily protection threats and face acute challenges in relation to access to livelihoods, basic services and land.
This latest study by the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute explores the phenomenon of urbanisation and its drivers in four cities in Sudan. “City Limits: Urbanisation and Vulnerability in Sudan” contains case study reports on Khartoum, Juba, Nyala and Port Sudan, as well as a Synthesis Report. They analyse the social, environmental and economic consequences of urbanisation, paying particular attention to urban livelihoods, as well as infrastructure and the provision of basic services. The findings suggest that current international humanitarian and development approaches are not yet geared to respond to urbanisation’s challenges, with the focus predominantly being on assisting rural communities. As a result, the urban poor in Sudan have been effectively left to fend for themselves – largely forgotten by the government and the international community alike.