772,715 SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEES IN SUDAN (31 DEC 2017)
US$221.7 M REQUIRED IN SUDAN IN 2017
32% FUNDING RECEIVED (31 DEC 2017)
19 RRRP PARTNERS IN SUDAN
In 2017, 195,599 South Sudanese refugees newly arrived in Sudan, the highest number of arrivals in one year since the start of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013. This far exceeds the original planning figure in 2017 of 60,000 new refugee arrivals.
By 31 December, Sudan was home to an estimated 772,715 South Sudanese refugees. This included those who arrived in Sudan after December 2013, as well as approximately 350,000 individuals who were living in Sudan prior to December 2013 and are unable to return to South Sudan – this group is officially considered by the government to be refugees. Overall, approximately 30% were individually registered (through biometric registration) by the end of 2017.
South Sudanese refugees cross into Sudan at numerous points along the nearly 2,000 kilometre border shared by the two countries, into South and East Darfur, West and South Kordofan, and White Nile states. Refugees are also recorded to move onwards to North Darfur, North Kordofan and Khartoum. Refugees arrive with very few personal possessions, often having walked for many days to reach Sudan, and even longer to reach initial reception assistance. Refugees also frequently arrive with concerning nutritional status, linked to the deteriorating food security situation and famine in South Sudan.
The unanticipated rate of new arrivals in 2017 far exceeded arrival trends of previous years, and overwhelmed government, UNHCR and other UN and NGO partners’ capacity to provide lifesaving assistance to both new arrivals and the existing caseload. The majority of new arrivals in 2017 settled in White Nile (60,582), East Darfur (46,808) and South Darfur (35,469), followed by South Kordofan (26,810), West Kordofan (16,327) and North Darfur (9,603).
In 2017, an estimated 21% lived in Sudan’s 10 refugee camps in White Nile (8 camps) and East Darfur (2 camps). The remaining 79% live outside of camps in self-settlements in some of the more remote and underserved locations in the country. All 10 refugee camps reached capacity in 2017, with limited access granted by local authorities for camp site extensions to accommodate a growing number of new arrivals.
This remains a children’s emergency. Children comprise over 65% of the refugee population, and the majority of new arrivals (approximately 88%) are women and children. An estimated 70% of refugee families are female-headed households. The lack of access to basic services and livelihoods in certain locations has increased risk of exploitation, harmful coping mechanisms, and resort to illegal activities (including survival sex work and alcohol brewing) in order to earn money to meet their families’ basic needs. Due to the political and legal contexts in Sudan, incidence of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) among refugees is not highly reported; however anecdotal evidence indicates that it is a serious issue and threat to the wellbeing of women and girls.
The response strategy in 2017 aimed to meet the needs of both South Sudanese refugees and host communities in Sudan with an emphasis on the provision of effective protection response to refugees. The strategy included three main components:
i) maintain an emergency response capacity to address the urgent needs of new arrivals in 2017;
ii) stabilize the existing programme by aiming to achieve minimum emergency standards across sectors; and
iii) promote solutions with a particular emphasis on enhancing protection through self-reliance and host community support, as well as on creating linkages to other national development plans.