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Sudan Takes Major Step Aiding Refugees

Eritrean refugees arriving at Kilo 26 refugee camp in eastern Sudan. (UNHCR)

The Sudanese government will issue work permits to some 30,000 of an estimated 80,000 refugees.

The Sudanese government will issue work permits to some 30,000 of an estimated 80,000 refugees who have fled to eastern Sudan from neighboring nations in conflict, a major step toward meeting humanitarian needs in the region. The United States welcomes the announcement, which will give thousands of refugees a chance to improve their living conditions and take part in the Sudanese economy.

Sudan Takes Major Step Aiding Refugees
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Sudan currently hosts more than 149,000 refugees, many from Eritrea and Chad. The numbers continue to grow, with some 400 to 600 Eritreans arriving in Sudan each month, fleeing political repression, military conscription and poverty in their homeland. In recent years, some have become victims of kidnapping and human trafficking. With permission to work, their reliance on humanitarian aid may decrease.

The work permit agreement followed talks among the Sudanese government, the United Nations, and the World Bank to further the work of the Transitional Solutions Initiative. This initiative seeks to provide a framework to aid the transitioning of refugees, expanding livelihoods and increasing self-sufficiency.

The United States has aided this effort and the larger refugee response, contributing $27 million in this year alone to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and International Committee of the Red Cross. We are committed to supporting these and other efforts seeking durable solutions, protecting new arrivals and preventing human smuggling and trafficking of vulnerable migrants.