UN urgently seeks $1b aid for Sudan conflict refugees

UNITED NATIONS  -  The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and 64 human­itarian and national civil society organizations Monday appealed for $1 billion to provide essen­tial aid and protection to more than 1.8 million people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Sudan, who are expected to arrive in five neighbouring coun­tries by the end of 2023.

Since the crisis began when rival military groups clashed in mid-April, projections of growing num­bers of people trying to escape fighting have sharply spiked upwards.

“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.”

The current appeal is based on expectations re­flecting a two-fold increase of what was initially estimated in May to respond to the crisis.

More than one million refugees, returnees, and third-country nationals have already fled the country, the agency reported.

Critical necessities include water, food, shelter, health services, cash aid, core relief items, and protection services. Urgent attention is also re­quired for an increasingly dire health situation among new arrivals. High malnutrition rates, disease outbreaks, such as cholera and measles, and related deaths are occurring in several re­ceiving countries.

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