In 2022, Sudan hosts over 1 million refugees that are living across the country with Khartoum and White Nile states hosting the largest refugee populations. While South Sudanese refugees form the largest group with over 799,500 in March 2022, Sudan hosts sizeable groups of refugees and asylum seekers from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Chad, the Central African Republic and Yemen.
UNHCR is implementing its Refugee Coordination Model (RCM) in Sudan. It provides the model for leading and coordinating refugee operations and is derived from UNHCR’s mandate to provide international protection to refugees. It is applicable in all refugee situations and throughout a refugee response, whether the emergency is new or protracted, and whether refugees are living in camps, rural areas, urban settings or in mixed situations. The framework is predicated on the primary responsibility of States to protect refugees, and is determined, largely, by the capacities and approaches of the host Government. The Refugee Coordination Model ensures inclusiveness, predictability, and transparency, as well as clear lines of accountability. It is designed to adapt to situations where cluster structures exist, in order to harmonize approaches and reduce duplication.
While the primary responsibility to protect refugees rests with the Government of Sudan, UNHCR provides support to the Government’s Commission for Refugees (COR) to coordinate the refugee response in Sudan. UNHCR’s Refugee Coordination Model provides a framework for the coordination of inter-agency refugee operations, which includes in 2022 the contributions of 40 operational partners participating in two primary levels of coordination across the refugee response. On federal level the Refugee Consultation Forum (RCF) co-chaired by COR and UNHCR leads the national refugee response by setting the country strategy. On subnational level the Refugee Working Groups (RWG) also co-chaired by COR and UNHCR leads the state level operational refugee response. With approx. 2.9 million IDPs, 9.3 million vulnerable Sudanese and 0.9 million returnees¹ Sudan faces a complex humanitarian situation where the RCM is implemented to coordinate the refugee response and the IASC cluster approach, sectors in Sudan, is activated to coordinate the response to IDPs and other affected populations. While the coordination of the response to IDPs and other vulnerable populations falls under the Humanitarian Coordinator the coordination of the refugee response falls under the UNHCR Representative.