UN and partners in South Sudan appeal for US$ 96 million to assist thousands fleeing Sudan

Juba  - The United Nations and humanitarian partners in South Sudan launched an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to support people fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Sudan. Through this plan, the United Nations (UN) and humanitarian partners in South Sudan are urgently appealing for US$ 96 million to assist the thousands of people arriving into South Sudan on a daily basis, with the numbers growing each day.

Since the outbreak of the fighting on 15 April, more than 32,500 people have been registered crossing the border from Sudan into South Sudan. The real numbers are likely to be even higher as some people entered the country without registration, with the average number of people arriving daily recorded at 3,500 individuals. Most people are arriving at the Joda border crossing point in Upper Nile State, having spent days on the road from Khartoum. More than 90 per cent of those arriving are South Sudanese returning home to escape the violence in Sudan. Some are Sudanese seeking asylum, Eritrean refugees, Kenyan and Somali migrants, and other third-country nationals.

“The majority of those arriving, often with no belongings and very traumatized, are in dire need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including medical and psychosocial support, and transportation to their destination,” said Mr. Van der Auweraert, the Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. “Through the Emergency Response Plan (ERP), the UN and humanitarian partners aim to provide rapid assistance to those arriving and support the Government of South Sudan’s efforts to help people move from the border as quickly as possible to avoid people remaining in hard-to-reach and possibly unsafe areas.”

A potential 180,000 South Sudanese are likely to return in the next three months and 10,000 third-country nationals are expected to transit through South Sudan on their way home; while 60,000 refugees are expected to arrive in the next six months if the conflict and tensions persist. Of the total funding required, $39.9 million is planned to assist returning South Sudanese at the border and as they move onwards to their communities, while $53.9 million will support receiving and providing basic services to refugees in designated camps for six months. A further $2.2 million is required to support third-country nationals with transportation assistance to their countries of origin.

The ERP has been coordinated by UNHCR and IOM with the relevant government entities and humanitarian partners. A total of 64 organizations, six of which are UN system members, 19 international NGOs and 39 national NGOs, contributed to the plan. In line with existing coordination mechanisms, UNHCR will lead the refugee response, IOM and UNHCR will co-lead the support to South Sudanese returnees and IOM will oversee the response for third-country nationals.

“This appeal for support is urgent. People are arriving at border areas that are extremely difficult to access, often in areas where the few existing roads are likely to flood when the rains start in the coming days,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. “If we do not act now, there is a high risk that vulnerable families will be stranded in inhospitable border areas for the duration of the rainy season, which will increase their suffering and the costs of providing assistance.”

“We commend the Government of South Sudan for continuing to keep their borders open to those fleeing Sudan – and the strong and collaborative working relationship with UN system members and partners to provide the necessary assistance, protection and help people to return to their countries of origin. We urge that sustainable solutions are found for these people and all those in South Sudan who deserve solutions pathways,” the Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. added.

Note to editors:

There are over 1.1 million refugees in Sudan, of whom 800,000 are South Sudanese, over 100,000 Eritreans and 60,000 Ethiopians. In addition, unknown numbers of South Sudanese live in Sudan with no clear status. There are large numbers of migrants and foreign nationals living and studying in Sudan.

An estimated 9.4 million people, 76 per cent of South Sudan's population, are projected to need humanitarian and/or protection assistance in 2023. Before this latest crisis, South Sudan has 2.2 million internally displaced persons; over 1.4 million people identifying as returnees; over 5.8 million resident population projected to have critical life-threatening needs; and 337,000 refugees. In 2023, humanitarian partners are targeting 6.8 million people with urgent life-saving assistance and protection services. As of 2 May 2023, the Humanitarian Response Plan is reported as funded at 25 per cent.

For further information, please contact:

IOM: Kennedy Okoth, Communications Officer,
Charlotte Hallqvist, External Relations Officer, UNHCR
Susan Le Roux, OIC Head of Office, OCHA

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