Sudan is currently estimated to host more than one million refugees and asylum-seekers from Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Most of the refugee population is currently living outside of official camps in remote and poorly developed locations with limited access to goods and services. Meanwhile, those residing in camp settlements are provided with modest assistance, which may not meet their basic needs.
As part of its mandate in Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) works to provide support and protection to refugees, and asylum seekers that are at risk of experiencing vulnerabilities. However, information about the reason, nature, and consequences of such vulnerabilities remains scarce and outdated.
In this context, Voluntas was commissioned to support UNHCR in Sudan by implementing a Basic Needs and Vulnerability Assessment (BaNVA) for refugees hosted in Sudan. To produce this assessment, an extensive inception desk review was carried out with 21 key informant interviews (KIIs) held with UNHCR, other UN agencies, and NGOs to include their respective inputs in the survey instrument design. Furthermore, a survey was carried out with 4,922 refugees and 1,409 host community members across 13 Sudanese states. The data collected allowed for the representativity of the refugee population in each state with a margin of error of around 5%.
The findings of this assessment, as expanded upon below, will help create an understanding of refugees’ vulnerabilities in different sectors. Furthermore, the findings can support the development of recommendations on how refugees can be better assisted in the future to reduce their vulnerability levels and meet their essential needs – including through cash-based assistance.