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Lack of funding threatens aid to South Sudanese refugees in Sudan

September 17 - 2017 KHARTOUM
The El Nimir camp for South Sudanese refugees in East Darfur (UN OCHA)
The El Nimir camp for South Sudanese refugees in East Darfur (UN OCHA)

As a result of low funding, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) expects challenges in delivering basic assistance to new refugees from South Sudan. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) recently contributed $3.8 million for aid to South Sudanese refugees and host communities in Sudan.

According to the UNHCR Population and Operational Update of 31 August, almost 460,000 South Sudanese refugees—fleeing hunger and violence in South Sudan—have arrived in Sudan since December 2013.

About 182,000 South Sudanese arrived in Sudan in 2017 so far. The majority of new arrivals are women and children. Up to 60 per cent of the children are estimated to be out of school.

Despite the continued influx of South Sudanese refugees into the country, only 22 per cent ($48 million) of the $221.7 million needed for the Sudan response under the revised South Sudanese Regional Refugee Response Plan has been received, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says in its latest biweekly bulletin.


UNHCR received a £3 million (approximately $3.8 million) contribution from DFID, according to a press statement on 29 August.

This contribution will be used to provide humanitarian assistance to 150,000 South Sudanese refugees and 15,000 people from host communities in the country. The funds will support work in education, water and sanitation, registration and shelter covering the three states of White Nile, South Kordofan and East Darfur.

The UK Government has given over £11 million pounds (close to $16 million) to support critical basic needs for South Sudanese refugees in Sudan since conflict erupted in South Sudan in 2013.

Influx continues

The refugee influx into South Darfur continues with approximately 241 South Sudanese refugees arriving in the state every day, with a total of 3,509 arrivals in Buram and El Radoom localities in August. The majority of them are women and children.

The Commission for Refugees (COR) and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) have been transporting the new refugees to El Radoom reception centre.

Reports indicate that there are an additional 700 refugees in Kafia Kinji, however, UNHCR and COR are unable to transport them to El Radoom because of washed-out roads following the recent rains.


On 28 August, the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC in Sudan, the UNHCR Deputy Representative, and representatives from COR and the Commission for Voluntary and Humanitarian Work (CVHW) visited the Bentiu refugee site in Jebel Aulia locality in Khartoum state to assess the living conditions of an estimated 17,000 South Sudanese refugees currently living there.

Immediate needs were identified, including water, sanitation, shelter and health services. These needs were exacerbated by the heavy rainy season and recent unplanned relocations from other sites in Khartoum since May.

UNHCR and the HC have submitted a request to COR and CVHW for an immediate, rapid inter-agency needs assessment and further access to the refugees to allow UNHCR and partners to address needs and alleviate the suffering of the refugees living there.

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