May 26, 2024

UNHCR urges for the protection of civilians and assistance as the Sudan crisis displaces 1 million people.

UNMISS\Nektarios Markogiannis Many people in South Sudan are living in poverty after years of underdevelopment, corruption and conflict.

Editorial 

After more than a month of conflict, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling for immediate action to protect civilians and ensure unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance in Sudan. 

This is particularly crucial as we intensify efforts to provide aid to over one million people who have been displaced both within and outside Sudan.

Amidst threats and risks, individuals within Sudan are bravely relocating, particularly those from Khartoum, Darfur and other hazardous regions. According to COR, Sudan has provide refuge for  approximately 88,000 displaced individuals who have recently relocated from Khartoum to more secure locations such as White Nile, Gedaref, Kassala Madani, and Port Sudan. 

UNHCR is providing crucial aid, such as housing, domestic goods, hygienic resources, medical attention, and educational assistance, to refugees and those who have been forced to leave their homes in those particular regions.

Over 75,000 refugees originating from Khartoum have recently migrated to White Nile, where UNHCR is in the process of verifying and placing these individuals in camps, providing crucial aid, and collaborating with the World Food Programme to distribute provisions. 

Refugees hailing from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and other locations are being duly recorded and relocated to designated camps upon their arrival in East Sudan.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of people who have been displaced within Sudan has reached 843,000, while almost 250,000 individuals have been registered crossing borders by the UNHCR and surrounding countries.

The amount of individuals seeking refuge in Egypt, which is currently the primary host country, is growing at a fast pace, as estimated by UNHCR partners who predict over 5,000 new arrivals each day. The government reports that there are currently approximately 110,000 Sudanese who have migrated to the country.

Qustul and Argeen are the primary access points on the southern border of Egypt. 

The ERC – UNHCR’s associate – calculates that the majority of newcomers proceed towards the northern region, including Cairo and other urban zones. The UNHCR is focusing on amplifying its aid and reaction to the refugee flow passing through Aswan.

As new individuals seek UNHCR’s aid, the organization continues to provide emergency relief at the border with the support of their Emergency Response Centre. In Cairo, they receive assistance in safeguarding their registration and pre-registration through protection services. After completing the registration process, they will be able to avail themselves of educational and medical services. 

Additionally, counseling services, psycho-social assistance, and referrals are being given.

A considerable number of individuals seeking UNHCR’s assistance arrive in a state of distress, having experienced violence or traumatic circumstances in Sudan, as well as enduring challenging travels. A large number of individuals have experienced the loss or separation from their loved ones, undergone traumatic events, or requiring prompt medical attention.

Effective measures for safeguarding unaccompanied or separated children have been put in place, which consist of procedures aimed at determining and prioritizing their best interests as well as locating their families.

Community-based initiatives, including those led by refugees, are also receiving assistance. Additional aid and support will be required for Egypt and other host nations in order to maintain their ability to provide refuge, shelter, and aid to those displaced by the Sudanese conflict.

The number of daily arrivals in South Sudan is persistently high, hovering around 1,500.  A significant proportion of those who have migrated, amounting to 63,000 individuals, were refugees from South Sudan who were previously residing in Sudan. 

The majority of people enter through the Upper Nile State via the Renk crossing. The transit station located close to the border is experiencing excessive congestion and limited resources, leading to heightened security concerns. The government and UN partners are working hard to overcome logistical obstacles and promptly relocate individuals to their respective regions using either road or river transportation.

UNHCR has provided relief supplies to nearly 10,000 households in Chad and intensified its surveillance efforts to combat imminent risks and address critical protection needs.

The majority of newcomers are situated in distant transitioning locations nearby the border, with significantly restricted supplies. This week, UNHCR, in collaboration with the authorities and other parties, initiated the process of transferring recent refugees to pre-existing settlements.

At first, camps will welcome 20,000 recently arrived Sudanese refugees with provisions of family housing, education opportunities, and healthcare services. The impending arrival of the wet season is increasing the need for prompt action.