One year of conflict in Sudan

Since war broke out in April 2023, more than 8.6 million people have been forcibly displaced.

Sudan was host to one of the largest refugee populations in Africa before the conflict began. The escalation in violence has exacerbated an already devastating situation. People desperately need help.



to protect families who have been forced to flee their homes.


for people on the move amid blistering temperatures.

Basic essentials

for families who have left everything behind.

What is the situation in Sudan?

Since the outbreak of conflict in April 2023, the humanitarian situation in Sudan has worsened leading to unprecedented displacement and has since showed no sign of slowing. The ongoing violence is exacerbating an already challenging situation in a country that has faced severe flooding and conflict in recent times, resulting in more than 8.6 million people becoming displaced, 1.8m of them being forced to flee Sudan.

The ongoing violence has made aid operations extremely difficult and dangerous, and is affecting the protection of civilians in conflict-affected communities mainly in Darfur, Kordofan and Khartoum.

People have fled conflict to seek shelter in the neighbouring countries of Chad, Egypt, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic. These countries have also been devastated by conflict, climate disasters and instability in recent times.

Is UNHCR still operating in Sudan?

UNHCR and its partners are responding in this challenging context but regularly encounter obstacles to deliver assistance effectively such as access constraints, security risks and logistical challenges especially in areas most affected by the conflict.

UNHCR has been supporting displaced people in Sudan for many years and relief operations are continuing with precautions wherever the situation allows. Staff are monitoring the situation daily, but whilst the conflict continues, aid delivery and protection in some of the conflict-affected communities in Sudan remains challenging.

How is UNHCR responding to this latest crisis?

UNHCR is providing protection services and critical lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable forcibly displaced people and host communities across the country in multiple field locations despite the security situation.

UNHCR has well-established operations across Sudan, as well as in neighbouring countries, and is calling on all parties to stop the conflict and ensure civilians are protected, so that humanitarian operations can continue.

UNHCR is also urging neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to fleeing civilians.

Following the outbreak of conflict, UNHCR scaled up operations rapidly to support those fleeing. The most pressing needs continue to be water, food, shelter, health care, child protection and prevention of gender-based violence. Due to the violence experienced by those crossing the border, psychosocial support is also among UNHCR’s top priorities.

What is Sudan’s role as a refugee hosting country?

Before the conflict broke out, Sudan generously hosted one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, providing refuge to just over one million people who had fled conflict in countries such as South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Syria.

Due to the ongoing conflict, UNHCR estimates that thousands of refugees currently living in Sudan could return to their home countries of South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Central African Republic if this crisis continues.

How is UNHCR supporting South Sudanese refugees returning to South Sudan?

Sudan previously hosted over 800,000 South Sudanese refugees, a quarter of whom were in Khartoum, the capital, and were affected by the conflict. As a result of the fighting, many South Sudanese refugees have returned home, with other over 640,000 people arriving in South Sudan since the outbreak of conflict, with the majority of these being South Sudanese returnees. UNHCR teams and partners at border crossing points to monitor new arrivals and provide assistance, including essential protection services as well as emergency relief items.

Many South Sudanese refugees face returning to areas that remain fragile as a result of conflict, climate change or food insecurity – or a combination of all three.

To read more about UNHCR’s work in South Sudan, please visit our website here.

Are civilians being displaced by this latest violence?

Over 8.6 million Sudanese people are currently displaced, whilst many others have fled the country and have sought safety in the neighbouring countries of Chad, Egypt, Uganda, and South Sudan, among others. UNHCR teams and partners are on the border to support people as they cross.

Prior to the escalation in violence in April 2023, conflict in the country had already displaced 3.7 million Sudanese within Sudan, while more than 840,000 had fled the country and become refugees in countries such as Chad, South Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

How can I support relief efforts for people affected by this conflict?

You can make a donation here to support UNHCR’s emergency response to the Sudan emergency and neighbouring countries. 

Fundraising is another great way to help and there are lots of ways to get involved – from taking on a sporting challenge to organising an event at work, home or school. For more information, please visit our fundraising page.     

For other ways to help, visit our website here.

Where can I find out more about UNHCR’s work in Sudan?

For latest updates on this and other crises that UK for UNHCR supports, follow our social media channels and sign up to our email updates.

For the latest UNHCR data relating to the Sudan emergency, please visit the UNHCR Operational Data site here.

Did you know that an estimated 55% of those recently fleeing Sudan are children?

Share This