UN says Sudan needs $150m to help Ethiopian refugees

Sudan hosting more than 43,000 refugees fleeing fighting in Tigray into one of its most impoverished regions.

Refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region wait in line to pour water into containers at Um Raquba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan [Nariman El-Mofty/AP]

Sudan needs $150m in aid to cope with the flood of Ethiopian refugees crossing its border from conflict-stricken Tigray, the United Nations refugee agency chief has said during a visit to a camp.

The Tigray conflict broke out on November 4 between Ethiopia’s federal forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Sudan has since hosted more than 43,000 Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the intense fighting into one of its most impoverished regions.

“Sudan needs $150m for six months to provide these refugees water, shelter and health services,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi said on Saturday at Um Raquba camp, some 80km (50 miles) from the border.

Grandi called on “donors to provide Sudan with these resources as soon as they can”.

Between 500 and 600 refugees are still crossing the border each day.

Sudan has sought to provide help to accommodate the mass refugee influx as it struggles with its own deep economic crisis.

The country is also going through a fragile transition since the April 2019 removal of veteran strongman Omar al-Bashir, after unprecedented mass protests against his rule, triggered by economic hardship.

Some 65 percent of Sudan’s nearly 42 million people live below the poverty line, according to government figures.

As the Tigray fighting rages, Grandi also voiced concern over the fate of tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees living in Ethiopia for decades.

“We don’t have access to them,” he said, urging the Ethiopian government to authorise visits by the United Nations.

Source: AFP