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Joint Foreign Ministry-UNHCR mission in refugee camps in Sudan

The response to the refugee crisis involving people fleeing from the Horn of Africa will be the focus of a joint mission by Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino, and Luigi Maria Vignali, Director General for Migration Policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The mission will take place from 2 to 5 August 2022.

The delegation will be accompanied by Ambassador Gianluigi Vassallo and will be joined by staff from the Khartoum office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. It will visit the camps at Um Rakuba and Tunyadbah Camp, 230 km from Ghedarif in eastern Sudan. They will meet refugees, representatives of local authorities and civil society organisations to discuss the situation of displaced persons who have found shelter in Sudan. Sudan has generously taken in 1,142,000 refugees, of whom 50,000 fleeing the recent conflict in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.

Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, through the Migration Fund and the efforts of Development Cooperation, the UNHCR provides life-saving assistance in eastern Sudan. Its particular aim is to improve refugees’ living conditions through activities for young people and by building permanent housing solutions in the Um Rakuba and Tunyadbah camps, which together accommodate more than 40,000 refugees.

As the Director General for Migration Policies, Vignali, stated: “The Farnesina’s joint mission with the UNHCR in Sudan confirms Italy’s strong commitment not just on behalf of refugees but also of the local communities who shelter them in their country. The aim is to stabilise migration flows with long-term solutions, especially for the youngest among them. Together, we will monitor the results of the projects already funded and plan the activities to be implemented in the coming years, not least to address the food and climate crisis affecting the region.

“We are grateful to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for its support for our operations in Sudan, a country that for years has been facing a huge refugee crisis. In this dramatic period of history, characterised by major international instability, Italy remains a key partner for the UNHCR to maintain peace and security throughout the world and protect refugees”, said Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR Representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino.

“The UNHCR operation in Sudan is at present only 19% funded.  To give refugees a chance to rebuild a dignified future in the country where they have found shelter and as a tangible sign of solidarity with Sudan, the international community must join with Italy in strengthening the response to the refugee crisis”.

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