December 4, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan has reached 263,000, with October 2016 marking the highest monthly arrival rate.
In Sudan’s White Nile State, it said, 3,962 individuals (1,552 households) registered at the three main border reception centres of Jouda, El Keweik and El Mquiens.
The majority of new arrivals (73 per cent), it stressed, arrived through Jouda, bringing the total number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in the state in 2016 to 22,000. As of 15 November, about 263,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan since December 2013.
"With continuing insecurity in South Sudan, a steady influx of new refugees is expected throughout December and into next year. About 263,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan since Dec. 2013," said the agency in a statement.
"With continuing insecurity in South Sudan, a steady influx of new refugees is expected throughout December and into next year," it added.
The majority of the South Sudanese refugees, according to the UN body, live in the camps distributed in the states of White Nile, East Darfur, West Kordofan and Khartoum.
On March 17, the Sudanese government decided to treat the South Sudanese nationals inside the country as foreigners, saying it would adopt legal procedures against those who do not have passports or entry visas.
An armed conflict broke out in South Sudan in late 2013, causing hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee to neighboring countries, including Sudan.
Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR’s Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) is reportedly underway across all eight camps in White Nile hosting South Sudanese refugees. JAM is a months-long process to assess whether the basic needs of South Sudanese refugees are being met by humanitarian partners.
"As part of the JAM’s initial stages, UNHCR and WFP have completed a series of assessments, including a food security assessment, a Standardized Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS), a livelihoods assessment and a Cash-Based Transfer (CBT) market and supply chain capacity assessment," the UN Humanitarian Agency (OCHA), said.
"Preliminary findings are currently being reviewed. The aim of the JAM and the validation exercise is to improve the food security and self-reliance of South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State for the coming years," it stressed.
A final report, according to OCHA, is expected in February next year.