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UNHCR says $445m needed due to rising numbers of people fleeing Sudan

May 4, 2023 at 6:26 pm

Sudanese refugees who crossed into Chad set up shelter at a camp in Koufroun, near Echbara, on May 1, 2023 [GUEIPEUR DENIS SASSOU/AFP via Getty Images]

The UN Refugee Agency said on Thursday it anticipates an outflow of 860,000 refugees and returnees from Sudan, and that it will need $445 million from partners to sustain the displaced population until October, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Regional Refugee Response Plan for Sudan, which is presented to donors on Thursday, will primarily cover immediate support in Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic, the UNHCR said in a statement.

The plan was developed in collaboration with 134 partners, including UN agencies, national and international NGOs and civil society organisations, according to the statement.

“The humanitarian situation in and around Sudan is tragic – there are food, water and fuel shortages, limited access to transport, communications and electricity and skyrocketing prices of basic items,” Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s assistant High Commissioner for Operations, said.

“UNHCR and partners have emergency teams in place and are assisting authorities with technical support, registering arrivals, carrying out protection monitoring and strengthening reception to ensure urgent needs are met,” Mazou said. “This is just a start. More help is urgently needed.”

The UNHCR said the 860,000 figure is a rough estimate for financial and operational planning. Sudanese would make up around 580,000 of the total, with 235,000 refugees previously sponsored by Sudan coming home in difficult conditions and 45,000 refugees of other nationalities formerly accommodated by Sudan, it added.

Most people are likely to arrive in Egypt and South Sudan.

Over 330,000 people have already been displaced within Sudan as a result of the current fighting, with an additional 100,000 refugees and returnees fleeing the country, according to the Agency.

Since the start of the clashes on 15 April, more than 550 people have been killed and more than 5,000 others injured, according to the Sudanese Health Ministry.

A disagreement has been fomenting in recent months between the Army and the paramilitary force over RSF integration into the Armed Forces, a key condition of Sudan’s transition agreement with political groups.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup”.

Sudan’s transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar Al-Bashir, was scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.

READ: UN Relief chief seeks to get commitments from Sudan parties on humanitarian assistance