GENEVA – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said today that it is planning for an outflow of 860,000 refugees and returnees from Sudan and, with partners, will require US$445 million to support the displaced until October.
The updates were made in a preliminary summary of the inter-agency Regional Refugee Response Plan for Sudan, which was presented to donors today. It will primarily cover immediate support in Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic.
The plan has been drawn up with 134 partners including UN agencies, national and international NGOs and civil society groups.
“The humanitarian situation in and around Sudan is tragic – there are food, water and fuel shortages, limited access to transport, communications and electricity, and skyrocketing prices of basic items,” said Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations. “UNHCR and partners have emergency teams in place and are assisting authorities with technical support, registering arrivals, carrying out protection monitoring and strengthening reception to ensure urgent needs are met. This is just a start. More help is urgently needed.”
UNHCR has been coordinating contingency planning with partners for new arrivals (refugees, returning refugees and others) to neighbouring countries. The 860,000 figure is a preliminary projection for financial and operational planning. Of the total, some 580,000 would be Sudanese, 235,000 refugees previously hosted by Sudan returning home in adverse conditions, and 45,000 refugees of other nationalities previously hosted by Sudan. Egypt and South Sudan are expected to see the most arrivals.
The current fighting has already displaced over 330,000 people inside Sudan with a further over 100,000 refugees and returnees leaving the country. UNHCR launched a data portal today that will update daily new numbers of refugee and returnee arrivals in neighbouring countries.
Continued fighting, looting, rising costs and lack of transport are making it difficult for people to leave dangerous areas. Access to health care has also been critically impacted. The plan will support host countries to ensure access to asylum for those needing international protection, support host countries to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance, identify the most vulnerable and provide them with specialized services. The arrival of the rainy season will further challenge access and delivery of aid to remote locations.
Most of the countries receiving those fleeing Sudan, and Sudan itself, are operations which were already perennially underfunded and hosted large numbers of forcibly displaced people. Most have so far received less than 15 per cent of the 2023 funding needs.
“We urgently need timely, new funding to respond to the mounting needs,” Mazou added. “The needs are vast, and the challenges are numerous. If the crisis continues, peace and stability across the region could be at stake.”
A more detailed Regional Refugee Response Plan will be launched next week.
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