DFID’s water, sanitation and hygiene programming in Sudan

DFID’s response to the Darfur conflict in Sudan since 2003 has been one of its largest ever humanitarian operations. This report looks at the water, sanitation and hygiene component of DFID’s response across different delivery channels.

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 21 February 2013
  3. Type: Other
  4. Subject: Country focus, Global health
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Sudan
  7. Lead commissioner: John Githongo


Since independence in 1956, Sudan has been beset by protracted conflict that has contributed to years of underdevelopment and has resulted in some of the most severe humanitarian crises in recent history.

In 2009, Sudan was the world’s ninth-largest recipient of development aid (at $2.4 billion) and the largest recipient of humanitarian aid (at $1.3 billion). In recent years, the UK has been the second-largest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) bilateral donor in Sudan (figures predate the secession of the South). UK aid to Sudan between 2011 and 2015 will be around £146 million. Sudan received £31 million in 2011-12. This will rise to £71 million in 2012-13, as a result of a large humanitarian programme, falling back to £44 million by 2014-15.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has been an integral part of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) humanitarian response to the Darfur conflict since 2003. Sudan is off track on its water and sanitation-related Millennium Development Goals. The limited data available suggest 61% of households have access to an improved water source (67% in urban areas and 58% in rural areas) and 28% have access to improved sanitation (65% in urban areas and 25% in rural areas). There are wide regional discrepancies, however, with access to water and sanitation at 73% and 51% in Khartoum but at only 27% and 24% in Red Sea State. These figures are lower than the 1990 baseline, suggesting a deteriorating situation.

This review assesses the effectiveness and value for money of DFID’s support for WASH programming in Sudan. Overall we awarded an amber-red score and made four recommendations.


Review publication

Published 21 February 2013

Government response

Published 28 February 2013

ICAI follow-up

Published 12 June 2014