The U.N. refugee agency is appealing for $447 million to provide essential aid for more than 900,000 refugees in Sudan and for nearly one-quarter of a million Sudanese hosting them.
The U.N. refugee agency is teaming up with more than 30 other partners to provide the refugees with shelter, health, education and other crucial aid for survival. The vast majority of refugees are from South Sudan. But the agency says resources also are needed for refugees from nine other countries who have fled violence and persecution.
In the meantime, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch says Sudan continues to receive new refugees, putting more pressure on diminishing resources.
"In Darfur, an ongoing influx of refugees from Central African Republic into remote parts of Sudan and Central Darfur states has seen the number of refugees swell from just over 5,000 to nearly 17,000 in the three months since September 2019," Baloch said.
All this is occurring at a time when Sudan is going through an historical political transition. In April, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir was ousted after nearly 30 years in power. The UNHCR reports transitional authorities are struggling to achieve peace and stability, while mired in a severe economic crisis and faced with an internally displaced population of 1.8 million.
Balloch tells VOA refugees in Sudan are scattered over 130 locations across the country’s 18 states, some in very remote areas.
"They live side-by-side among their hosts…Sudanese have been sharing resources with the refugees," Baloch said. "We need to keep our continued support with the refugees that are in Sudan, but also their hosts who also live on scarce resources."
UNHCR operations in Sudan tend to be greatly underfunded. Last year’s appeal for $269 million received only 32 percent of that amount. The agency is appealing to the international community to be more generous this year and provide the money needed to aid an ever-growing number of destitute people.