The number of new arrivals has surpassed expectations, signaling a likely worsening situation in South Sudan. UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, appealed to the international community to continue its support to Sudan for the South Sudanese refugee emergency.
However, she also said: “Ultimately there needs to be a solution in South Sudan, so that people do not have to flee to neighbouring countries.”
Yoshida expressed her gratitude for Sudan’s continued generosity in receiving refugees and keeping its border open. Over 365,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived since December 2013. The majority of the new arrivals are women and children.
Yoshida was encouraged by the Government of Sudan’s approach of granting South Sudanese refugees the opportunity to live within host communities, where old friendships and ties exist.
“Sudanese people along the border are sharing much of what they have with people arriving from South Sudan. Old friends are helping each other. Refugees are also working on the land supporting local farmers, and making a small living to sustain themselves and their families.”
She appealed for support for host communities. “In many places local hospitals are being shared by host communities and refugees alike; it’s the same with local schools. UNHCR wants to support refugees in host communities. Living outside camps reduces the isolation of refugees, and enhances their resilience and dignity. But, we need to ensure local communities also benefit from support for refugees.”
UNHCR and its partners have appealed for USD 166 million from international donors to help refugees and host communities in Sudan. As of March 2017 only 3% of the funds have been received. The appeal amount is also being revised upwards in the coming weeks in line with rising needs.