UN refugee agency reports over 8.5 million Sudanese displaced since April 2023 News
Henry Wilkins-VOA // Public Domain
UN refugee agency reports over 8.5 million Sudanese displaced since April 2023

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday over 8.5 million Sudanese have been forced to flee their homes in Sudan since April 2023, when the internal armed conflict began. Among the displaced, 1.8 million fled across the border to South Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda.

The internal armed conflict between the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) started in April 2023. The conflict began over a failed political agreement between the two groups. The ongoing conflict “has shattered people’s lives, filling them with fear and loss,” said the UNHCR spokesperson Olga Sarrado.

The conflict has not only completely destroyed of Sudan’s middle class, it has also forced local residents to flee to neighboring countries. For instance, despite South Sudan hosting 640,000 refugees from Sudan, over 1,800 people are still arriving in South Sudan every day on average. Other neighboring countries, including Central African Republic, Egypt and Ethiopia, also continue to report daily inflows of 2,000 to 3,000 refugees. New and expanded settlements have already reached their maximum capacity and the remaining refugees in the border areas were facing overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in border areas.

Although the ongoing conflict exacerbates humanitarian needs, funding for the 2024 Regional Refugee Response Plan remains “critically low.” Only seven percent of the funds needed have been fulfilled, while the response effort inside Sudan is just six percent funded. Sarrado particularly highlighted the alarming needs of women and children. They flee their homes with little to nothing and require food, water, shelter and medical care desperately.

Previously in February, The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted the devastating human rights situation in Sudan. The UN Security Council also called for an immediate cessation of hostilities during Ramadan in March.