UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and 64 humanitarian and national civil society organizations today appealed for $1 billion to provide essential aid and protection to over 1.8 million people expected to arrive in five neighbouring countries by the end of 2023, fleeing ongoing conflict in Sudan.
This is a two-fold increase of what was initially estimated in May to be required to respond to the crisis, as displacement and needs continue to soar. More than 1 million refugees, returnees and third country nationals have already fled the country.
“The crisis has triggered an urgent demand for humanitarian assistance, as those arriving in remote border areas find themselves in desperate circumstances due to inadequate services, poor infrastructure and limited access,” said Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR Regional Bureau Director for the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes, and Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Sudan Situation. “Partners active in this response are making every effort to support those who are arriving and their hosts, but without enough donor resources, these efforts will be severely curtailed.”
Critical necessities include water, food, shelter, health services, cash aid, core relief items, and protection services.
In particular, the dire health situation among new arrivals is increasingly concerning and requires urgent attention. High malnutrition rates, disease outbreaks such as cholera and measles, and related deaths are occurring in several receiving countries.
“It is deeply distressing to receive reports of children dying from diseases that are entirely preventable, should partners have had sufficient resources,” said Balde. “Action can no longer be delayed.”
The countries receiving people fleeing Sudan – Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan – were hosting hundreds of thousands of displaced people even before this crisis.
“Countries in the region are facing major challenges of their own and yet they continue to show remarkable generosity, but we cannot take their hospitality for granted,” said Balde. “The international community needs to stand in solidarity with host governments and communities and address the persistent underfunding of humanitarian operations. This is crucial to support individuals and communities in need, pending much needed peace.”
The 2023 Sudan Emergency Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) was launched in May 2023, revised in June 2023, and again in August 2023 reflecting the dramatic and ongoing increases in external displacement from Sudan and the resulting humanitarian crisis. While needs have grown exponentially, donor resources have not kept pace. Currently, only 20 per cent of the increased requirements has been received.