Sudanese Refugees Fleeing Conflict: Over 100,000 Flee to Neighbouring Countries

The United Nations refugee agency has reported that over 100,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to neighbouring countries since fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 15. The agency warns that over 800,000 people may flee Sudan as a result of the ongoing conflict, including Sudanese nationals and thousands of existing refugees living temporarily in the country. The conflict has already caused 334,000 people to be displaced inside Sudan. Before hostilities flared last month, a third of Sudan's 46 million people required humanitarian assistance.[0] Now, conditions are even more severe.[0] Across the country's major urban centres, residents are trapped in vulnerable, desperate conditions, with many reporting being without electricity, running water, and food.[0] Access to urgent healthcare has become virtually impossible in many places.[0] UN agencies agree that getting needed supplies to people inside Sudan is particularly difficult, with the World Health Organization warning of a looming health disaster due to the shortage of medicine and other essential items.[1] The UNHCR is seriously concerned that a large, unplanned number of new returns may destabilise already struggling local communities.[2]

The first group of evacuees from Sudan to be assisted by the UN migration agency IOM arrived at N’Djamena’s Hassan Djamous International Airport in Chad late on Thursday, in two special flights chartered by the Chadian authorities.[3] IOM helped the Chadian authorities with the registration of the new arrivals, the identification and referral of vulnerable cases, and post-arrival assistance, including cash to support onwards transportation to reunite evacuees with their families.[3] Meanwhile, over 73,000 people have already left Sudan, according to the UNHCR.[4] UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi later said the planning figure of 800,000 was indicative. He added that while they hope it never comes to this, if violence persists, more individuals may be compelled to escape Sudan in search of safety.[4]

Currently, over a million displaced individuals are being hosted in Chad, with a significant portion of them being around 400,000 refugees from Darfur, Sudan. The International Rescue Committee has warned about the massive humanitarian needs for 20,000 refugees that have fled into Chad and the need for more support for such refugee hosting communities.[5] Experts predict up to 100,000 people might flee into Chad, which already hosts almost half a million refugees.[5] To address immediate requirements for humanitarian aid and protection, UNHCR and its collaborators have dispatched rapid response squads to the eastern frontier with Sudan.[2] Pre-registration activities have been initiated by the UNHCR and the Government of Chad in order to identify newly arrived individuals and evaluate their requirements.[2] “Our priority is to ensure that all those who have arrived receive adequate support to help them reunite with their families, but also medical assistance, including mental health and psychosocial support,” said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad.[6]

The crisis will have a severe impact on humanitarian conditions.[2] Sudan hosts more than one million refugees and 3.7 million internally displaced people. The already overextended aid programs are now greatly hindered.[2] The UNHCR notes countries neighbouring Sudan already are hosting large refugee and internally displaced populations from previous crises and will require additional support to provide protection and assistance to thousands of newly arriving asylum seekers.[1] The UNHCR is developing a financial and operational strategy centered around the estimated 800,000 individuals affected by this humanitarian emergency.[1] The agency plans to release an Interagency Regional Refugee Response Plan once it is finalized. This plan will detail the measures being taken to address the emergency, such as financial requirements.[7]

0. “Sudan nears ‘breaking point’ as foreigners evacuate” The Washington Post, 2 May. 2023,

1. “More Than 800,000 Sudanese Refugees Expected to Flee to Neighboring Countries” Voice of America – VOA News, 2 May. 2023,

2. “UNHCR mobilizes to help people fleeing Sudan for neighbouring countries” UNHCR, 25 Apr. 2023,

3. “Sudan latest: Tens of thousands on the move; spectre of ethnic clashes, hunger draws closer” UN News, 28 Apr. 2023,

4. “More than 800000 may flee fighting in Sudan, says UNHCR” Sudan Tribune, 2 May. 2023,

5. “Thousands of Sudanese refugees arrive in Chad traumatized, hungry and dehydrated; IRC calls for more support for …” International Rescue Committee, 2 May. 2023,

6. “IOM Supports First Evacuations from Sudan to Chad” International Organization for Migration (IOM), 28 Apr. 2023,

7. “Sudan commodity prices soar, medical supplies dwindle, hundreds of thousands flee homes: UN” Xinhua, 2 May. 2023,

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