Khartoum — The UN refugee agency UNHCR, together with 38 international and national partners, has launched an appeal to assist more than a million refugees in Sudan. The 2021 inter agency funding appeal seeks US$ 574 million to assist refugees meeting basic needs, bolster self-reliance, and realise their rights. Sudanese from the host communities also stand to benefit, UNHCR says.
Sudan hosts one of the region's largest South Sudanese refugee populations, with more than 762,000 as of February 2021. Over the years, refugees also arrived from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria, the Central African Republic, and other countries, the UNHCR office in Khartoum points out in a statement issued yesterday.
"The UNHCR-led Country Refugee Response Plan is integrated into the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan which estimates that 13.4 million people - including nationals, forcibly displaced and returnees - will need humanitarian assistance in 2021," the statement reads.
'13.4 million people - including nationals, forcibly displaced, and returnees - will need humanitarian assistance in Sudan 2021' - UNHCR.
"The newly launched response plan brings together 38 international and national organisations to work towards solutions and provide immediate assistance in all sectors - including food security, livelihood, protection, water, sanitation, hygiene, health, shelter and relief items," says Axel Bisschop, UNHCR Representative in Sudan. "Nearly 270,000 Sudanese from the host communities will also benefit from these inter agency initiatives."
The agency confirms that "in 2020, Sudan continued to uphold its open border policy and by the end of the year received about 50,000 refugees from Ethiopia's Tigray region. More recently new influxes were reported into Blue Nile state and White Nile state".
Refugees in Sudan face high levels of poverty further exacerbated by the continued economic crisis and inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal flooding which hit record-high levels last year. Sudanese people also grapple with high levels of food insecurity and forced displacement, with around 2.5 million being internally displaced.
Through increased engagement with development actors, UNHCR and partners will also support the Government of Sudan's efforts to include refugees in its national health and education systems, support self-reliance, access to employment and durable solutions - as pledged at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, the statement concludes.