Khartoum — The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has determined that there are now more than 300,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.
In its weekly humanitarian bulletin, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that according to the UNHCR, the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan since December 2013 has surpassed the 300,000 mark, and as of 13 February, stands at 305,000.
The majority of the 2016 influx arrived in East Darfur (49%) and White Nile (25%). Over 85,000 refugees crossed into Sudan in the first six months of 2016, with the largest numbers observed from February to April, with another upsurge in July, according to UNHCR.
Over 65 percent of the refugees are children, with many of them arriving with critical levels of malnutrition. UNHCR and partners anticipate the continued arrival of South Sudanese refugees into Sudan throughout 2017, given the situation in South Sudan marked by localised fighting and critical levels of food insecurity in areas close to the Sudanese border.
The planning figure for 2017 is an estimated 60,000 additional refugees, with the corresponding response outlined in the South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan for 2017. UNHCR in Sudan is currently updating its preparedness and contingency plan in consultation with partners to ensure an effective response continues if influxes exceed the current planning figure, OCHA reports.