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European Union provides EUR 17 million new development funding to UNHCR and IOM for thousands affected by Sudan conflict

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European Union provides EUR 17 million new development funding to UNHCR and IOM for thousands affected by Sudan conflict

11 December 2023
Chad. Spontaneous refugee site in Adre where more than 150,000 Sudanese refugees live in makeshift shelters

Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees who fled conflict in Sudan since April still live in makeshift shelters in a spontaneous refugee site in the border town of Adre, Chad. Relocation to safer areas with better access to aid is urgently needed.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) welcome new funding by the European Union (EU) to promote the inclusion of thousands of people who have fled the ongoing fighting in Sudan and found safety in Chad, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Going beyond lifesaving interventions, this funding will enable refugees and returnees, as well as their host communities, to access national services such as health and education, in addition to economic opportunities that will improve their self-reliance.

In the eight months since conflict started in Sudan, nearly 1.3 million people have crossed borders into neighboring countries in search of protection and assistance. However, the conditions in the locations in which people are arriving are extremely dire, with access to basic services limited and lagging infrastructure that make the humanitarian response extremely challenging.

“This generous contribution is a strong demonstration of solidarity with the countries that have generously opened their doors and welcomed thousands of people escaping the conflict in Sudan, despite already hosting many other refugees and other displaced people,” said Mamadou Balde, UNHCR’s Director for the East, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Region and Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Sudan situation. “It is also a great example of how development partners can come in at the onset of an emergency and invest in solutions that will help secure people’s future.”

National governments will be supported to set up integrated settlements and to expand national basic services, in line with national policies and the upcoming Global Refugee Forum in December 2023, when Governments are expected to announce new pledges related to integrated human settlements.

“The war in Sudan is taking its toll on South Sudan and other neighboring countries alike. This new funding reaffirms the EU’s willingness to provide tangible support to host countries. Through this regional programme, the EU intends to be forward-looking and ambitious in its response to the displacement crisis, complementing lifesaving humanitarian interventions with early-on, longer-term development support.” said Timo Olkkonen, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of South Sudan. “The programme aims at including refugees and returnees in service delivery systems, while improving their livelihoods and ensuring peaceful coexistence with host communities, in synergy with other EU funded initiatives on forced displacement. It will improve living conditions of those forced to flee, and at the same time contribute to security and stability in the region.”

The funding will also be used to provide livelihoods support, particularly to youth and women – including training on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and support to access business licenses and financing. Small-scale farmers will also receive climate-resilient seeds, as well as training on topics such as food processing and conservation, business management, marketing and commercialization. Moreover, the investments will be made in efforts to promote local development and encourage peaceful coexistence between forcibly displaced people and their host communities.

“This funding, received at the start of the emergency, is a good example of the humanitarian, development and peace nexus and provides displaced population with direct support to restart their lives in a more sustainable manner,” said John McCue, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission.      

The regional programme will be jointly implemented by UNHCR and IOM and will run from December 2023 to July 2025.

More than 6.7 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Sudan. As fighting rages on, many more people are likely to arrive in neighboring countries. UNHCR, IOM and partners continue to urge for more support to assist and enhance solutions for those affected by the crisis.


For more information on this topic, please contact:

(UNHCR) Faith Kasina, [email protected], +254 113 427 094

(IOM) Loyce Gabriel, [email protected], + 211921708535 and Programme Support Uni (PSU), [email protected]

(European Union) Francis Apiliga Lagu, [email protected], +211928184384