Sudan: UN and Partners Launch $445 Million Plan to Ease Sudan Crisis

With 860,000 people projected to flee the fighting in Sudan for neighbouring countries, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and partners on Thursday appealed for $445 million to assist the displaced through October.

The updates were made in a preliminary summary of the Regional Response Plan for Sudan, that was presented to donors in Geneva.

The funding will cover immediate support in Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic. A more detailed plan will be launched next week.

More help needed

Raouf Mazou, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, pointed to the “tragic” humanitarian situation that has emerged in Sudan since fighting between rival military forces broke out nearly three weeks ago.

The dire conditions include food, water and fuel shortages, as well as limited access to transport, communications and electricity. Access to healthcare has also been critically impacted, ongoing insecurity has prevented people from leaving dangerous areas, and the cost of basic items has skyrocketed.

UNHCR has been coordinating contingency planning with partners for new arrivals to countries bordering Sudan. The crisis has uprooted Sudanese citizens but also refugees who are now returning to their homelands, and other nationals.

“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,” Mr. Mazou said. “This is just a start. More help is urgently needed.”

Refugees and returnees

The Regional Response Plan was drawn up by UNHCR together with 134 partners, including sister UN agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations, and civil society groups.

The 860,000 preliminary projection anticipates that some 580,000 people would be Sudanese; 235,000 returned refugees previously hosted by Sudan, leaving amid adverse conditions, and 45,000 refugees of other nationalities. Most arrivals are expected to flock to Egypt and South Sudan.

The fighting has already displaced over 330,000 people inside Sudan and forced over 100,000 to leave. UNHCR has also launched a data portal that will update daily refugee and returnee arrivals in neighbouring countries.

Whole region at risk

The Regional Response Plan will support host countries to ensure access to asylum, life-saving humanitarian assistance, and specialized services for the most vulnerable.

Like Sudan, most of the receiving nations were already hosting large numbers of forcibly displaced people, and operations were already perennially underfunded.