Almost four and a half months since the conflict in Sudan broke out, the fighting has displaced more than 3.8 million people from their homes within Sudan and a further 960,000 people have moved to neighbouring countries, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan including over 380,000 Sudanese refugees into Chad, 280,000 Sudanese refugees into Egypt, and almost 220,000 refugee returnees into South Sudan.
The operations in Sudan and neighbouring countries were already hosting large refugee and IDP populations prior to the recent crisis. All six country operations continue to be severely underfunded with the new emergency creating significant additional needs, which is affecting their ability to adequately respond to the needs of both existing and newly displaced populations. UNHCR’s revised Supplementary Appeal includes an additional $231.2 million in requirements for the extension of the planning period to the end of the year with changes in planning figures, and other operational changes.
UNHCR’s main budget increases are in Chad and South Sudan, where further investments are needed for new refugee camps and settlements in line with increased population projections, as well as the expansion of infrastructure and services in existing ones, which is also required in Ethiopia. An increase in requirements in South Sudan is due to the fact that the initial response specifically for South Sudanese returnees was originally only for three months, whereas the rest of the RRP was for six months. Thus, the five-month extension to the end of 2023 for this element of the response is a primary factor in the significant increase in financial requirements there.
The modest increases to requirements in Egypt are associated with a scale-up in registration and cash assistance.
In CAR, UNHCR’s budget has reduced slightly due to a greater proportion of the new arrivals choosing to remain in border areas, and in conjunction with other response partners taking on a greater role within the RRP.
Inside Sudan, the humanitarian situation remains dire due to shortages of food, water and fuel, limited communications and electricity, and skyrocketing prices of essential items for basic needs. Health care has been critically affected and there is severe shortages of medicines and vital supplies.
UNHCR Sudan has directed significant funding towards life-saving interventions following secondary displacement of refugees from Khartoum, Darfur and Kordofan region. UNHCR needs urgent support if it is to continue to stay and deliver critical assistance - including protection, shelters, household items, clean water and sanitation services, healthcare and education support and site management to refugees, IDPs and host community.
The Sudan operation is also taking a lead role in coordinating IDPs interventions (Protection, Shelter/ NFIs and CCCM cluster leadership), protection monitoring in camps and gathering sites where IDPs are sheltered, establishing help desks, and distributing core relief items and cash assistance.
The rising costs of fuel, transportation, logistics, long clearance process and challenges in transporting relief items to hard-to-reach areas such as the Darfur and Kordofan regions are significantly impeding UNHCR’s capacity to deliver essential humanitarian assistance within Sudan but also to remote border locations in the neighbouring countries. UNHCR has established offices in areas with high level of displacements, including in Wadi Halfa, Port Sudan and Wad Madani and has also established a presence in Farchana, Chad, for cross border response to West Darfur and Central Darfur states.
Without adequate funding support, these plans will not be fully implemented and there is a concern that already fragile communities will be further destabilized, with potentially wider and longer-term impacts on regional peace and security.
UNHCR’s revised total financial requirements through to the end of 2023 for the Sudan situation emergency response – in Sudan and neighbouring countries – amount to $506.5 million, an increase of $229.2 million on the previous version of the appeal issued in June 2023.