A new funding appeal has been launched by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency seeking US$477 million to help over 900,000 refugees in Sudan and the nearly quarter of a million who host them this year.
The Sudan Refugee Response Plan, launched in Khartoum on Tuesday, January 14, foresees humanitarian activities by UNHCR with over 30 other partners.
Sudan has a long history of hosting refugees and asylum seekers but it also struggles with its own internal displacement, while facing a severe economic crisis.
The largest group of refugees hosted in Sudan are South Sudanese with some 840,000 seeking shelter in the country since 2013.
Resources are also needed for other refugees from nine neighbouring countries who have sought safety from violence and persecution.
In the meantime, Sudan also continues to receive new refugees. In Darfur, an ongoing influx of CAR refugees into remote parts of South and Central Darfur States has seen the number of refugees swell from just over 5,000 to nearly 17,000 in three months since September 2019.
Refugees in Sudan live in over 130 locations across the country’s 18 States. About 70 per cent live outside of camps in villages, towns and settlements. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Sudan face high levels of poverty, limited access to livelihood opportunities, and are hosted in some of the poorest regions of the country, where host communities are also struggling.
While refugees often benefit from generous support provided by host communities, the ongoing economic crisis in Sudan has exacerbated the situation as local resources remain scarce.
UNHCR is also part of inter-agency humanitarian efforts to assist some 1.9 million internally displaced people inside Sudan, leading on protection and working on displaced peoples’ rights, emergency shelter and relief distributions.
Years of conflict and unrest have also displaced more than 600,000 Sudanese as refugees in neighbouring countries – including over 300,000 refugees from Darfur in in eastern Chad.
Since a Tripartite Agreement between the Government of Sudan, Chad and UNHCR signed in May 2017, nearly 4,000 Sudanese refugees have chosen to return home. More are expected to return this year.
In 2019, UNHCR operation in Sudan remained one of the most under resourced with only 32% funds being available out of the needed US$269 million. (Source: UNHCR)