Sudan Takes Improved Steps To Assist Refugees

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 18, 2013

The United States welcomes Sudan’s decision to issue work permits to some 30,000 refugees in eastern Sudan. Sudan currently hosts more than 125,000 refugees from Eritrea and Chad, of whom 80,000 are Eritreans in protracted situations, having arrived in Sudan during the early years of Eritrea’s war of independence. The issuance of work permits is a major step towards fostering greater self-reliance among the refugees Sudan has hosted for many decades.

An average of 400 to 600 Eritreans continue to arrive in Sudan each month, fleeing political repression, indefinite military conscription, and poor economic conditions in their country. Over the past three years, a number of the new arrivals have been or become victims of kidnapping, torture, and human trafficking.

In 2013, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration contributed more than $27 million to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist refugees, internally displaced persons, conflict victims, and migrants across Sudan. These funds enable efforts to seek durable solutions, protect new arrivals, and prevent human smuggling and trafficking of vulnerable migrants.

PRN: 2013/1265