UNHCR welcomes UK support for South Sudanese refugees in Sudan

Department for International Development (DFID) contributes GBP3 million for South Sudanese refugees and host communities

KHARTOUM, Sudan, 8 August 2017 – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed a GBP £3 million (approximately US $3.8 million) contribution from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) that will provide humanitarian assistance to 150,000 South Sudanese refugees and 15,000 individuals from the host communities in Sudan.

The funds will support vital work in the areas of education, water and sanitation, registration and shelter covering three states (White Nile, South Kordofan and East Darfur).

UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, said: “Since the conflict in South Sudan erupted in late 2013, the United Kingdom has shown tremendous support for refugees coming into Sudan. Britain has given over £11 million pounds (close to US $16 million dollars) to support critical basic needs for South Sudanese refugees here”.

Noriko Yoshida especially welcomed the United Kingdom’s support for education of refugee and host community children, saying it would help increase the protection of children. “When children can attend school, they can learn valuable life skills as well as gain knowledge for their development and their futures. Schools can play an active role in ensuring students facing challenges are identified, and children are taken care of in a safe environment during the day”.

It is estimated that over half of South Sudanese refugee children of school age in Sudan are out-of-school due to lack of facilities and materials to support their education. Local Sudanese schools in host communities are equally facing challenges to accommodate large numbers of refugee school children and need support.

Dr. Christopher Pycroft, Head of the UK Department for International Development in Sudan, expressed concern for the needs of children. “In Sudan, 65% of the new arrivals are children under the age of 18 years of age. While there are many competing needs from shelter to clean water supply, we must not lose focus on the importance of refugee education and the protection it can offer to vulnerable children”.

UNHCR’s Representative Yoshida welcomed Sudan’s continued contribution to refugee protection in the region through receiving refugees seeking safety in the country.

Over 424,182 South Sudanese have crossed into Sudan across 9 states since December 2013. In addition, estimated 350,000 South Sudanese are remaining in Sudan since the secession of South Sudan. UNHCR is seeking to assist all South Sudanese refugees in Sudan through support for their basic needs.

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For further information, please contact:

Mohamed Elfatih Elnaiem, Assistant PI & Communication Officer, UNHCR Sudan, +249 -183 493 664. Email: elnaiem@unhcr.org

Hala Elhaj, British Embassy Khartoum, Tel: +249 (0) 912 158004. Email: Hala.Elhaj@fco.gov.u