April 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Over 28,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Sudan in March, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said, with an additional 20,500 refugees newly accessed, having arrived since January along Sudan’s border in East Darfur.
- South Sudanese refugees arrive to Sudan’s white Nile state in January 2014 (Photo SUNA)
The new figures emerged following a border monitoring mission, UNHCR said.
This, UNHCR said, brings to over 85,000 the total new arrivals in 2017. Nearly 380,000 refugees have fled to Sudan since December 2013.
According to the agency, given the higher than anticipated arrival figures, together with its inter-agency partners, they are now anticipating up to 180,000 new arrivals into Sudan by end of 2017.
“In White Nile, land availability remains a primary concern to accommodate the increase of new arrivals in 2017 to refugee sites in White Nile, while ensuring refugee response standards are sustained,” partly reads the U.N agency’s statement.
It added, “Site expansion activities are underway, and UNHCR is working to increase the presence of medical staff at the entry points to ensure that health and nutrition screenings and medical assistance is provided to each new arrival”.
In Sudan’s South Kordofan and West Kordofan states, the U.N refugee agency is reportedly collaborating with the local authorities and interagency partners to address the challenge of ongoing influxes of refugees into very remote areas across both states.
Access to the affected localities, UNCHR said, has improved, which has allowed for the partners to visit refugees and assess their needs.
“A joint UNHCR and Commission of Refugees (COR) monitoring mission to El Leri and Abu Jubaiha in South Kordafon was completed on 16 March to follow-up on ES/NFI distribution, food assistance and nutrition service scale-up recommended from an inter-agency needs assessment in February,” said the U.N refugee agency.
On Sunday, 26 March, UNHCR-COR reportedly began household-level registration for approximately 19,500 South Sudanese refugees in Al Lait, North Darfur who were identified by the February mission.
Meanwhile, over 2,000 refugees have been registered so far, with the exercise to conclude in mid-April. The registration, it said, will facilitate refugees’ access to immediate food and ES/NFI assistance.
A border monitoring mission, conducted from 16-18 March, led by COR and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) in East Darfur reportedly identified an estimated 20,500 refugees residing near the Sudanese border in Kalama, Uamazelti and Abu Simsim areas.