Despite renewed calls for ceasefires, clashes in Sudan continue to impact civilian populations, including refugees, displaced people and migrants. At least 427 people have been killed and over 3,700 injured between 15 and 21 April 2023.
It is estimated that up to 100,000 people have been displaced internally across the country in the first week of fighting, primarily in Khartoum, Darfur and North Kordofan, and will potentially seek to continue their journey towards safety across international borders. 20,000 people have sought refuge in Chad, while over 1,500 have crossed over into South Sudan – including South Sudanese returnees. Most of the newly displaced are women and children, and the figures are expected to grow higher in the coming days. Early UNHCR planning figures indicate that up to 385,000 people could be forced to cross the border into neighbouring countries including Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
“We are preparing ourselves for a protracted crisis. Conflict-driven displacement is rarely short-term: it may take years before conflict-affected people can return or achieve durable solutions. We are adapting our programming to be able to provide both the necessary immediate and longer-term support to the families forced to flee their homes,” says James Curtis, DRC Executive Director for East Africa and Great Lakes.
Families forced to flee their homes, whether internally or across borders, face acute food, water, shelter and protection needs and are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance.
DRC is committed to stay and deliver
As the conflict impacts displacement across the region, DRC’s teams remain ready to support affected populations. DRC is present in Central African Republic, Chad (through partners), Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan, and is closely monitoring internal and cross-border movements and is actively adjusting programming to provide the necessary support, including through pre-positioning of relevant items, to meet the most urgent needs of new arrivals.
“We are committed to stay and to deliver support to people whose lives have dramatically changed over the past ten days," reiterates James Curtis. "We suspended our operations at the outset of the conflict, but essential staff have been able to access the office in Gedaref and South Kordofan and we intend to resume operations in those and other locations as soon as the situation allows. The safety of our staff is an overarching priority, as is adapting to the new needs and vulnerabilities emerging in Sudan."
DRC staff have relocated to safer locations within and outside the country, while maintaining the potential to scale up where needed and possible in order to respond to the needs of affected populations.
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