The United Nations refugee agency chief on Saturday said Sudan needs $150 million in aid to cope with the flood of Ethiopian refugees crossing its border from Tigray, home to 6 million people, reported Al Jazeera.
Fighting between Ethiopia’s federal forces and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) broke out on November 4. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced a military offensive in response to a TPLF’s attack on a military base. Notably, the embattled Tigray region has been almost entirely cut off from the outside world since the fighting started.
Sudan has hosted more than 43,000 Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the intense fighting so far. The number is expected to cross 200,000 in the next six months according to humanitarian agencies. At least hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting so far.
“Sudan needs $150 million for six months to provide these refugees water, shelter and health services,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi during a visit to Um Raquba camp, which is located some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border.
Grandi called on donors to provide Sudan with the required resources as soon as they can. He expressed his solidarity and gratitude to Sudan for opening its borders to refugees.
On Friday, the UN said it has sent 32 tons of emergency aid to Sudan’s Khartoum to assist the thousands of refugees fleeing fighting and violence in Ethiopia. The flight brought 5,000 blankets, 4,500 solar lamps, 2,900 mosquito nets, 200 tarpaulins and 200 rolls of plastic. The aid will meet the immediate shelter needs of more than 16,000 people.
The UNHCR said the second shipment of emergency aid is expected to reach Dubai on Monday. The flight is expected to carry 1,275 family tents and 10 prefabricated warehouses to accommodate 16,000 people. Two more flights are planned.