By Haruna Gimba
The recent fighting in Sudan has already displaced 300,000 people. The UN is appealing for help as it fears it would not be able to provide the required aid to the growing number of refugees.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expects some 860,000 refugees and returnees from Sudan by October 2023.
According to the Interagency Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) published on Thursday, May 4, the agency and its partners will need $445 million to support those refugees and returnees.
The Interagency Refugee Response Plan will help host countries ensure asylum for people who need international protection. It will also help provide life-saving humanitarian assistance, identify the most vulnerable and provide specialized services.
The funds will primarily cover immediate assistance to those entering Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic.
Egypt and South Sudan are expected to record the highest number of arrivals, according to the agency’s estimates.
“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,” said Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s assistant High Commissioner for Operations.
The ongoing fight has exacerbated the humanitarian situation in and around Sudan. Food, water, and fuel shortages, limited access to transport, communications, and electricity, and a spike in commodity prices have already displaced more than 330,000 people within Sudan and more than 100,000 refugees and returnees have left the country, according to UNHCR.
“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 UNHCR informs.
For Raoul Mazou, “The needs are vast, and the challenges are numerous. If the crisis continues, peace and stability across the region could be at stake.”
The appeal is issued in a context where countries hosting Sudanese refugees, and Sudan itself, are already facing a significant funding gap. Most of them have so far received less than 15 percent of the funds needed this year.