Counting the Deaths in Darfur: Estimating mortality from multiple survey data

Year: 2006 HiCN Working Paper No. 015

The exact number of deaths in the Darfur region due to the conflict will probably never be known. However, most certainly, it is far too many. Estimating mortality in conflicts is a notoriously difficult exercise, even more so in Darfur where the conditions causing death are extremely variable. Malnutrition, epidemics and violence occur sporadically, claiming many lives in some areas and none in others. Recognising the importance of tracking mortality and estimating deaths, humanitarian aid agencies working in the region have undertaken mortality surveys among their beneficiaries at different times to assess the condition of their status and the severity of the crises. These are based on sound statistical and epidemiological techniques and provide insights into the varying levels of mortality over the entire region.