Operation: Opération: Sudan



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
100% of the camp-based population in White Nile states individually registered and the same biometric registration initiated in East Darfur
58% increase in primary school enrolment in White Nile refugee sites
14,640 people of concern were assisted with medical referrals in Khartoum urban areas
20 litres of water per person per day (an increase of 4 litres) were provided to people of concern in the White Nile refugee sites
8 class rooms, 2 offices, 2 latrines and one store were built in Gemaiza Komora in South Darfur
6 educational facilities run  by the refugee communities were rehabilitated and 2,198 refugee children were supported with educational needs, including school fees, materials and uniforms in Khartoum
6 police posts were created in return areas in Darfur in order to enhance security in the villages and the protection of 30,000 IDPs and returnees 
2017 planning figures
209,920 people of concern registered on an individual basis
1,300 best interest assessments (BIAs) will be conducted for children of concern to UNHCR
940 resettlement registration forms (RRFs) will be submitted to resettlement countries for a total of 2,310 individuals
350 businesses will be registered as part of livelihoods interventions

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2016 2,704,048
2015 3,735,966
2014 2,498,776


[["Refugees",421466],["Asylum-seekers",16052],["IDPs",2225557],["Returned refugees",37215],["Others of concern",3758]]
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2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[133.84220317,116.72969403,160.308285897,171.322796876,167.165516029,201.08903223],"expenditure":[54.31417811,50.57392511,68.4190138,70.93360276,80.04125617,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[76.56904123,70.71228347,115.474342387,137.778614176,135.018613209,166.3108355],"p2":[5.92647297,3.80925251,3.36070081,3.0773447,1.54826576,2.4839356],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,6.313447],"p4":[51.34668897,42.20815805,41.4732427,30.466838,30.59863706,25.98081413]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[28.37723597,30.00781492,45.14173249,57.11940336,70.44091682,null],"p2":[3.55755501,1.73839136,1.80628898,0.56779169,0.83128585,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[22.37938713,18.82771883,21.47099233,13.24640771,8.7690535,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Working environment

The operational environment in Sudan remained challenging in 2016, further compounded by the economic situation in the country. The continuing instability in South Sudan resulted in new displacements and a new influx to Sudan. Durable solutions were not fully achieved for any of the refugee populations in Sudan, further stretching the scarce resources.
The travel permit requirement remained in place throughout the year, making Sudan a less permissive operating environment for international aid agencies. The Humanitarian Aid Commission issued new directives intended to streamline the travel permit requirement during the last quarter of 2016. However, these were not yet operational by the end of 2016.
Despite the constraints, UNHCR achieved substantial results and contributed to improving the lives of refugees and other people of concern in Sudan.

Population trends

  • By the end of 2016, Sudan hosted some 437,500 refugees and asylum seekers with the majority from South Sudan (297,200) and Eritrea (103,200).  
  • At year end, Khartoum hosted nearly 70,000 registered people of concern, including an estimated 35,700 South Sudanese who arrived after 2013, close to 7,000 Syrians and 1,000 Yemeni, the two latter being only a fraction of the total estimated Syrian and Yemeni population in Sudan.
  • At year end, Darfur hosted close to 94,000 refugees, 89 per cent of whom were from South Sudan.
  • Over 9,300 new refugees were reported by the Commission for Refugees (COR) during the year in the eastern part of the country, bringing the total number of refugees to 97,400.  
  • In 2016, the number of IDPs reached a total of 2,200,000.
  • More than 90,000 spontaneous refugee returnees from Chad were reported in North Darfur and another 15,600 were verified in Central Darfur.

Achievements and impact

  • UNHCR completed individual biometric registration for 100 per cent of the camp-based South Sudanese population located in White Nile State and initiated the same activity in East Darfur State. Progress in registration was also made for Syrian refugees in Khartoum, with the start of a joint registration exercise with COR.
  • Following UNHCR’s advocacy and training provision, COR started conducting refugee status determination from 14 December, 2015. Some 2,800 cases (pre-1991 Ethiopians and Eritreans only) were assessed with an  acceptance rate of 56 per cent. A total of 429 refugee status determination assessments were reviewed by a joint-review team consisting of the COR team leader and UNHCR. The quality of refugee status determination assessments has considerably improved since the beginning of the joint reviews that began in June 2016.
  • With continuous influx of South Sudanese refugees, the existing sites in White Nile State became overcrowded putting a strain on the already limited resources. In order to address this issue, one existing site was expanded and two new sites were established. Additionally, six new reception centres were constructed in East Darfur and South and West Kordofan.
  • UNHCR led several joint assessments and surveys in White Nile State, South and West Kordofan and East and South Darfur. The findings of the assessments were used for programme design and implementation. Furthermore, the SAFE strategy was developed and the WASH, Education, Livelihoods and emergency shelter/non-food items strategies are expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.
  • Over 30 peaceful coexistence projects, including workshops, installation of communal infrastructure such as community centres, and basic service provision such as water systems were implemented in 15 return villages in Darfur to reduce inter-communal conflict and support sustainable return of the displaced populations.
  • UNHCR together with  operational partners finalized the comprehensive SGBV and child protection referral pathways for newly displaced in North Darfur, resulting in counselling and psychosocial support for approximately 5,000 individuals among the IDP communities in Tawila, Shanglitobya, ZamZam, and Melit IDPs sites.
  • Efficient sector coordination contributed to partners’ succeeding in obtaining USD 2.4 million to implement emergency shelter/non-food items activities, assisting newly displaced IDP populations and returnees in various locations in Sudan that could be accessed.

Unmet needs

The influx of South Sudanese refugees continued throughout 2016 and due to lack of funding, a comprehensive self-reliance and livelihood intervention could not be fully implemented.
Strengthening of peaceful coexistence interventions and community mobilization is required for both IDP and refugee/returnee responses.


Sudan continues to present a complex operating environment for international humanitarian actors. Humanitarian assistance and protection frequently do not reach people in need in an effective and timely manner. Ongoing deterioration of the economic situation will further affect the already vulnerable refugee population, whose formal access to employment and social services remains limited. This, in turn, may lead to situations of exploitation, including risks of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and exposure to trafficking.
The situation in the region remains unpredictable and it is likely that the continuous influx of refugees into Sudan will persist, with many refugees, mainly Eritreans, making their way onwards beyond Sudan’s borders. South Sudanese refugees may also continue to flee to Sudan, in the event the recently signed agreement in Addis Ababa falters. 
Owing to challenges in reaching a long-term political resolution to the Darfur conflict, it is expected that pockets of fighting and new displacement will continue in parts of Darfur in 2016-2017. However other areas should remain stable, with opportunities for return of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). The sustainability of returns will depend on security and availability of basic services, including well-planned government initiatives, complemented by humanitarian interventions. The eventual withdrawal of the African Union United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) will have a negative impact on the ability of humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance.
The Government of Sudan and host communities provide land for establishment of refugee camps. Refugees are granted access to host community schools, health services and other community resources. The joint ongoing registration project will accord all registered South Sudanese the right to services similar to those available to Sudanese nationals. In the east, the Government has allocated sites for the establishment of reception centres for new arrivals. The same level of the Government hospitality for refugees is expected to continue in 2016.
 Prevention of refoulement and arbitrary arrest and detention will be priority objectives for UNHCR in 2016. Promotion of a dialogue between Ethiopia and Sudan will be at the heart of these efforts, as will enhance detention monitoring and capacity building for law enforcement officials. This will be complemented by the resumption of refugee status determination (RSD) in selected urban centres, and the countrywide introduction of harmonized and free-of-charge refugee identity cards.
Efforts to assure the physical security of refugees and prevention of violence and exploitation, particularly in light of the ongoing kidnapping and trafficking phenomenon, will be sustained through the implementation of the UNHCR and Government of Sudan Trafficking Strategy. In Darfur, additional capacity building will be provided to law enforcement officials and communities to ensure protection from violence in refugee camps. Community outreach, SGBV prevention and response, and child protection will be prioritized countrywide.
Strengthening self-reliance and providing alternatives to onward movements will be key in reducing vulnerabilities associated with clandestine movements to and from Sudan and further afield. Self-reliance programmes in refugee camps will continue, and priority will be given to addressing serious protection gaps, including in child protection, education, SGBV and livelihoods. Simultaneously, legal alternatives to movement out of the country will be promoted by enhancing resettlement, along with other schemes such as private sponsorship programmes and family tracing and reunification. For the long-standing refugee populations in Eastern Sudan and in Darfur, UNHCR will develop a strategic plan to achieve self-reliance for refugees and support host communities while pursuing, where relevant, voluntary repatriation.
For South Sudanese refugees, UNHCR is pursuing a three-pronged strategy aimed at strengthening protection and assistance in camps, as well as for host communities, and supporting durable solutions. This includes increasing access of refugees to basic services, strengthening registration and documentation, responding to the specific needs of women and children through dedicated child protection and livelihood programmes, as well as promoting community mobilization to enhance peaceful coexistence. Capacity building for partners in all areas of interventions will be key to successful implementation of activities. UNHCR will continue to address the risk of statelessness by supporting legal aid and procedures for confirming nationality and documentation for South Sudanese at risk of statelessness.
UNHCR has comprehensively reviewed its IDP engagement strategy in Sudan and realigned priorities as follows: i) enhance emergency response to new displacement (protection and emergency supplies/non food items), through the rapid deployment of protection teams to identify people with specific needs; provide essential psychosocial support; and refer urgent cases to relevant services (in all IDP areas); ii) address acute protection needs in selected IDP camps by identifying extremely vulnerable people, and providing relevant assistance or support to access relevant services (Darfur only); iii) support community-based structures and initiatives to promote protection and coexistence in areas of return or local integration and ensure the monitoring of protection conditions in areas of displacement and return. In addition, UNHCR will continue to assure the coordination of the Protection Sector, with priority given to strengthening its engagement with the authorities.
UNHCR is prioritizing basic life-saving assistance and core protection activities. Limited funding results in unmet needs with serious consequences for people of concern, including exposure to protection risks like detention and refoulement owing to the lack of funds for resumption of RSD. The scaling-down of livelihood activities is likely to have serious socio-economic consequences for refugees. Less funds to support education for urban refugees will mean that fewer children can go to school. In the east, activities for anti-trafficking and assistance to new arrivals depend heavily on additional funding and, if not supported, may lead to reversals of the successes achieved over the years. Latrine coverage is at 28 per cent, with a shortfall of 12,800 household latrines. Should funds be limited, the construction of an additional 2,000 shelters and renovation of 500 tukuls will have to be deprioritized, as will be the construction of additional classrooms for lower primary grades. Lastly, full implementation of the revised engagement strategy in Darfur envisaging support for 30,000 persons with specific needs, and implementation of 12 peaceful co-existence projects will not be possible given the resource constraints.