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UNHCR chief visits displaced families in Sudan amid escalating conflict

Sudanese refugees gather outside a field hospital in Acre, Chad, Aug. 15, 2023.   -  
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, embarked on a poignant journey through Sudan, where he met with families torn apart by the devastating conflict ravaging the nation.

Displaced from their homes and livelihoods by the ongoing turmoil, these families are enduring unimaginable hardships in displacement camps scattered across the country.

With conflict engulfing Sudan for ten long months, the scale of displacement is staggering, with nearly 8 million people uprooted from their communities, both within Sudan's borders and beyond, seeking refuge in neighboring countries such as Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Central African Republic, and Ethiopia.

The relentless violence has not only shattered lives but also brought Sudan's economy to its knees and crippled its once-thriving healthcare sector. Recent escalations in the conflict, including the seizure of Wad Madani, Sudan's second-largest city, by the Rapid Support Forces, have exacerbated the suffering of already vulnerable populations. Wad Madani had served as a sanctuary for hundreds of thousands fleeing violence in Khartoum and elsewhere, only to be displaced once again.

During his visit to Ethiopia and Sudan, Grandi bore witness to the harrowing realities faced by internally displaced families. In Port Sudan and Kassala, eastern Sudan, he listened to their stories, amplifying their voices and calling for urgent support from the international community.

The majority of displaced families find themselves confined to overcrowded displacement camps, relying on humanitarian aid and the solidarity of fellow Sudanese grappling with the same crisis. In states like Gedaref and Kassala, where displaced individuals continue to arrive from conflict-ridden areas, the need for assistance is dire.

UNHCR remains steadfast in its commitment to provide vital support to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across Sudan. Through counselling sessions, assistance with asylum procedures, resettlement options, legal and financial aid, and medical referrals, the agency strives to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the crisis.

In a stark statement, UNHCR underscored the dire humanitarian situation in Sudan, expressing grave concerns about the potential spread of violence to other parts of the country. As the conflict rages on, the plight of displaced families grows increasingly desperate, underscoring the urgent need for sustained international intervention and support.

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