Refugee influx from Tigray continues
· 62,166 refugees registered (23 March, UNHCR)
· 41,181 refugees relocated from Hamdayet and Abdrafi and Village 8 to Um Raquba (20,572 people) and Tunaydbah (20,609 people) refugee camps
· $146 million needed to respond to the urgent needs of refugees from Tigray up to June 2021. As of 31 January, UNHCR and partners have raised 48 per cent of the appeal for the response to the Tigray situation.
Since early November, military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, bordering both Sudan and Eritrea, have led to the flight of thousands of civilians to border areas in Sudan (most notably at Hamdayet and Lugdi/Village 8).
To mitigate potential health and security risks, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and partners are working to relocate refugees to camps away from the border. Sudan’s Government Commissioner for Refugees (COR) is conducting preliminary registration at transit centres at the household level, while UNHCR is registering new arrivals in Um Rakuba using its electronic registration and case management system (ProGres v4 reception module) at individual level.
The relocation of refugees to Um Rakuba has been suspended as the camp reached its maximum capacity. While work is ongoing to set up additional communal shelters and tents in Um Rakuba in the extension of land allocated by the government, UNHCR has started relocations to the newly set up site in Tunaydbah.
COVID-19 prevention is streamlined across all activities. Temperature screening is in place at the entry point in Hamdayet for new arrivals. UNHCR is distributing soaps and masks to new arrivals at Hamdayet and Village 8 transit centres. In Hamdayet, UNHCR, SRCS and Sudan Vision conduct awareness sessions on COVID-19 and distribute informative leaflets. COVID-19 prevention measures, including wearing masks, and social distancing, are being observed during the relocation of refugees to Tunaydbah camp. Four positive cases have so far been identified in Um Rakuba camp and are currently in isolation in the camp. 63 close contacts have been identified and quarantined. The State Ministry of Health (SMoH), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and COR are leading the response with support from UNHCR and partners.
Three months on, UNHCR and partners continue to work to meet the growing needs of an increasing refugee population. Gaps remain in all sectors, from water (incl. water trucking and chlorine tablets), sanitation (incl. latrines, drainage, and waste management) and hygiene (incl. shower rooms and handwashing facilities) to health facilities (incl. general medicine, reproductive health, ambulances, solar power, isolation centres, health staff, medicines, laboratory tests, and medical supplies), food (incl. quality and variety), shelter (incl. durable emergency shelters) and protection response, especially youth protection activities, mental health and psychosocial support and GBV response. Fuel shortages, limited numbers of vehicles and limited road access are also posing a challenge to the relocation of the new arrivals as well as the provision of supplies to the different sites. There is a dire need of energy especially alternative cooking energy.
Overall, communication with communities on promoting COVID-19 prevention measures, isolation centres, and health and hygiene practices have just started and need more support. Four active of COVID-19 cases highlight the urgent need to enhance these structures both for host and refugee community.
Core relief items, shelter, and specialised psychosocial support should also be prioritised for foster families to ensure the children are safely accommodated and receive the care they need. Additional child friendly spaces in Village 8 and Hamdayet are also needed. Furthermore, an increasing number of persons with disabilities have approached the protection desk, requesting services, such as hearing aids, crutches or cash assistance, currently unavailable at any sites.
For more details on response and gaps please visit the UNHCR Sudan refugee situation operational portal.