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Sudan: Tigray Population Movement - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRSD029

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 03 November 2020, armed clashes were reported between the Ethiopian Defence Forces (EDF) and the Tigray Regional Security forces (TPLF) in Tigray region, Ethiopia, leading to massive population movement as communities flee for safety. On 6 November, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency, with a total of 1.5 to 2 million people projected to be affected. Indeed, as of 18 November, over 31,353 people have already arrived in Sudan in search of safety (source: UNHCR daily new arrival update November 18). A continued high influx of refugees is expected to arrive in East Sudan, UNHCR projects a total number of 200,000 people to cross the border in the coming 6 months, with 400,000 people in worst case scenario. While continuing to receive these new arrivals, East Sudan is hosting one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world, with active refugee camps in Kassala, Al Jazeera and Gedaref States, some of which are currently hosting new arrivals.

According to Sudanese Red Crescent (SRCS) assessment report from 15 November, the latest figures received as in Sudan are as follow:

  • Total number of arrivals via Hamdayit transit/reception centre stands at 17,783 people (10,683 were registered, and 7,100 not yet registered).
  • Total number of arrivals via Al-Lukdi village 8 transit/reception centre stands at 8,240 people
  • Total number of refugees transferred to Um-Rakoba settlement camp from Hamdayit reception centre is 2,415 people.

Arriving refugees are being temporarily hosted in transit centres located near the border entry points of Al Lukdi in Gedaref state and Hamdayit in Kassala state. UNHCR and local government are screening and registering people upon arrival. All asylum seekers crossing the border into Sudan are expected to be relocated from the transit centres to permanent camps as soon as possible. Indeed, there challenges with transportation, which UNHCR is looking into upscaling, as well as preparing settlements for influx. Therefore, many people continue to remain at border. In addition, many families refuse to yet be further relocated as they are waiting for family members to cross, but main challenge is access to transport.

UNHCR initially focuses on scaling up Hamdayit transit centre capacity, being the most likely crossing point. Main needs identified of the newly arrived refugees in transit centres are protection, basic needs including emergency shelter and household items (HHIs), WASH, Food, Health including MHPSS and referral services for persons with specific needs (PSN). Calls have been made to partners, amongst which, SRCS, to support in ensuring wellbeing of refugees in the transit camps.