INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT
The first COVID-19 case in Sudan was confirmed on 14 March 2020 and soon after all 18 states were affected, with most cases identified in Khartoum. To slow down the spread of COVID-19, the government closed airports, sea-ports and land crossings on 16 March and imposed a lockdown in Khartoum on 18 April. Refugees have been severely affected by the crisis and COVID-19 cases have been observed among refugees by UNHCR. Crowded conditions in refugee camps and settlements exacerbate infection risks in an environment of understaffed heath facilities and limited handwashing facilities. Although borders are closed, refugees continue to arrive in Sudan and arrivals are quarantined in dedicated centres near camps for 14 days before receiving regular assistance services. In addition to Government isolation centres, additional isolation centres near refugee camps are being constructed and supported by the response through hot meals and non-food items. UNHCR and partners continue to monitor new arrival rates and conduct entry interviews to understand the impact of the border closures. Partners are also working together on risk communication in refugee locations, using, among other things, multi-language SMS, posters, leaflets, community networks. The Refugee Consultation Forum (RCF) is leading an inter-agency COVID-19 Contingency and Preparedness Action Plan looking at several scenarios, including camp and settlement lockdowns. In addition, the RCF has developed 13 localized response plans covering densely populated refugee camps and settlements to ensure regular delivery of humanitarian aid, while looking into the specific needs in preparation and response to COVID-19. Based on the significant additional needs that emerged due to COVID-19, especially in the Health and WASH sector, and as a result of lockdown and movement restrictions, the Sudan Country Refugee Response Plan 2020 has been updated in consultation with its partners.