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UN supports initiative for over 5 million IDPs, refugees in Sudan, S. Sudan

October 8, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Thursday pledged its full support to a new solutions initiative by governments of Sudan and South Sudan for over 5 million citizens of their countries who live in exile or as internally displaced people.

Displaced South Sudanese wait in line for food at the Dzaipi transit centre in Uganda (Photo: F. Noy/UNHCR)

The Initiative was reportedly announced at UNHCR’s Executive Committee in a meeting of the two foreign ministers chaired by High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi.

“Today marks a great leap forward for long-awaited solutions for Sudanese and South Sudanese people as both governments agreed today to address the needs of refugees and IDPs. We whole-heartedly support the Initiative to rally more international support for solutions,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Axel Bisschop.

UNHCR also welcomed the support the solutions initiative was receiving from the start, including from the European Commission.

The meeting to launch the initiative was attended by international partners, including the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The regional bloc will lead the process to prepare a dedicated high-level meeting on solutions early next year.

All parties reportedly agreed that key factors for success will be the participation of refugees, IDPs, and returnees in the process, full regional engagement and contributions by other UN actors.

A first preparatory meeting will take place in Khartoum this month.

“The agreement can positively change the lives of over 1.8 million Sudanese displaced in their country and 700,000 who live in exile in the region,” stressed Bisschop.

“UNHCR stands ready to fully support solutions, with our expertise, presence and operational capacities across Sudan, from the Kordofans to Darfur,” he added.

(ST)