Oct 08, 2020(Nyamilepedia) —The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees convenes Sudan and South Sudan to begin an IGAD-led regional initiative to seek solutions to protracted displacement of people in both countries.
The meeting was chaired by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and attended by the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships.
According to the UNHCR statement seen by Nyamilepedia, all parties agreed that this is a unique opportunity to find lasting solutions for displaced persons from the two countries.
“The aim will be to agree on the early recovery and longer-term peacebuilding and resilience needs for five million Sudanese and South Sudanese internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees, and to urge the international community to show solidarity and support the process.” Read a statement by UNHCR
The meeting was in line with the Nairobi Declaration when an agreement by IGAD countries to have a comprehensive regional approach to deliver durable solutions for refugees while also maintaining protection and promoting self-reliance in the countries of asylum.
The statement further explained that the process will be an initiative of the IGAD Support Platform launched during the Global Refugee Forum in December last year, and which consists of humanitarian and development organizations, donors, private sector and other partners committing to show solidarity by providing concrete technical, financial and development support to refugees in the IGAD region
According to the report, all parties agreed that the key factors for achieving success will be the participation of refugees, IDPs, and returnees in the process with full regional engagement.
A first preparatory meeting will take place in Khartoum at the end of the month.
The UNHCR High commissioner welcomed the commitment by both governments to find a long lasting solution.
“Today we received the firm commitment from the governments of both Sudan and of South Sudan to actively plan for and address the needs of their citizens who are living in exile or displaced within their countries,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“We commend both governments and the IGAD Secretariat for this initiative and welcome the support of key partners like the European Union. This commitment can positively change the lives of millions of displaced people and UNHCR stands ready to fully support this process, with our expertise, presence and operational capacities.”
Currently, there are over 1.8 million Sudanese internally displaced, and over 700,000 refugees located in neighbouring countries. Figures for South Sudanese include some 2.2 million refugees in the region and another 1.6 million displaced within the country.