Sudan + 1 more

Weekly Gedaref Operational Update #23, 5 – 12 December 2021


Operational Highlights

The relocation of asylum seekers from Basunda Transit Centre to Babikri settlement concluded: On 7 December, the last convoy from Basunda Transit Centre arrived in Babikri settlement with 65 asylum seekers on board.
This brings the total number of those relocated to 1,812 since the exercise began on 28 November, with support from Sudan’s Commission for Refugees (COR) and other partners. These asylum seekers are being individually registered and provided with assistance upon their relocation. Efforts are underway to ensure essential services are available and operating in Babikri settlement. Solidarités international has installed WaSH facilities with lockable doors around the settlement to help prevent and mitigate protection risks. Muslim Aid has set up a cereal milling machine and FNC is distributing cooking fuel. Moving forward, any new arrivals from the Taya border entry point will be directly relocated to Babikri.

Relocation from Hamdayet to Tunaydbah continues: During this reporting period, UNHCR, in collaboration with COR and other partners, relocated 1,171 refugees from Hamdayet Transit Centre to Tunaydbah settlement, bringing the total number of relocated to 3,142, since the exercise resumed on 22 November. Upon arrival, the newly relocated are accompanied to a reception centre, prepared with support from ALIGHT, MSF and NRC, where they are assigned shelters and receive assistance. Muslim Aid distributes hot meals and bottled water among the newly relocated refugees while MSF provides medical assistance and hand sanitizers. Refugees are also being individually registered and receive lifesaving supplies in a registration and distribution centre. A dedicated protection desk has been set up to support persons with specific needs.

UNHCR and partners responded to a fire at Um Rakuba: On December 10, a fire broke out in Um Rakuba camp. Refugee volunteers helped evacuate the area and provided psychological first aid. There were no fatalities nor injuries, but the fire destroyed nearly 70 shelters, affecting 235 refugees, including 67 children. A technical assessment team determined that the cause of the fire was accidental. UNHCR and partners immediately supported affected refugees with essential assistance. Some in the group were moved to communal shelters while others were placed with relatives until the construction of the new shelters is completed. A joint protection team from UNHCR, COR and ALIGHT identified those who were impacted and assessed their priority needs. The distribution of life-saving supplies, including food, water, dignity kits and core relief items such as blankets, jerry cans, sleeping mats and kitchen sets is ongoing in close collaboration with CARE, DRC, NRC and WFP. NRC has begun the clean-up and demarcation of the impacted area and will replace the destroyed shelters with new accommodations in the coming days. Plan International also distributed clothes and footwear to refugees who have lost most of their belongings in the fire. From January to September 2021, UNHCR, together with FNC, conducted 48 fire safety awareness sessions in Um Rakuba for 1,920 refugees. To further strengthen prevention and mitigation measures, additional trainings for Um Rakuba refugee fire safety committee is being planned and alternative cooking fuel options are being explored.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence concluded: In continuation of the global 16 Days campaign, a number of activities and events were organized in Tunaydbah and Um Rakuba. This included trainings, facilitated by ALIGHT and DRC, to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV), free and available services and referral pathways. Some 40 women and girls in Um Rakuba and 86 newly relocated refugees (28 men and 58 women) in Tunaydbah benefitted from the sessions. The campaign was concluded with a series of creative and sports activities, including traditional music and dance performances as well as football and volleyball matches, held by DRC, IRC, NCA, UNICEF and UNFPA.

UNHCR, together with COR and ALIGHT, celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 5 December. An event was organized in Um Rakuba under this year’s theme “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable postCOVID-19 world”, with approximately 500 refugees and host community members in attendance. This was followed by the distribution of mobility aids, including wheelchairs, canes and walkers to 28 individuals with disabilities.

New Ethiopian arrivals recorded in Eastern Sudan: As of 11 December, 90 new arrivals were reported in Hamdayet Transit Centre, bringing the total population there to 4,259. Elsewhere, two (2) new arrivals were also recorded in Taya border entry point during the reporting period.