The priority of access to water in Ethiopian refugee camps in Sudan
1 000 000 refugees
8 000 000 people helped


Since November 4, 2020, the Tigray region of Ethiopia has been the scene of a confrontation between central government forces in Addis Ababa and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) forces in Mekelle, the provincial capital.

These clashes have direct repercussions and consequences at the regional level and particularly in the border area between Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. Indeed, between November 4 and December 14, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Sudanese Refugee Commission (NRC) recorded the arrival of 50,339 refugees from Ethiopia. Refugees enter Sudan mainly through the Hamdayet port of entry in Kassala State or through Lugdi and Abderafi in Gedaref State. The Transitional Government of Sudan has kept its borders open to facilitate the entry of refugees seeking safety in Kassala and Gedaref states.

This massive influx of refugees adds to an already difficult humanitarian context in Sudan. Indeed, over the past five years, Sudan has experienced an overall increase in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance, from 5.4 million in 2015 to 12.7 million in 2021. Climate change and the economic crisis, including high inflation and rising prices for basic necessities such as food, medicines and other commodities, have led to a significant increase in food insecurity and other needs.

On November 24, 2020, an inter-agency emergency response plan for refugees was put in place. The risk analysis led to a most likely scenario that estimates the refugee population at 100,000 people within 6 months, and in the worst case scenario at 200,000 people in the same period. While the number of refugees entering Sudan appears to be decreasing compared to the more massive flow observed from 10 to 15 November (up to 6,500 persons/day), it remains continuous and fluctuates between 100 and 400 persons/day. As of December 17, 2020, 50,884 refugees have been officially registered by UNHCR/COR.

From the 3 main entry points of Ethiopia into Sudan (Hamdayet, Lugdi and Abdrafi) and after registration, refugees fleeing the clashes in Ethiopia are currently housed or being resettled in 2 main camps: Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah.

  • 43 million inhabitants
  • 46,5% of poverty rate
  • 168th out of 189 on the Human Development Index

Our action

  • Mission
    opened in 2004 (Darfour), 2020
  • Team 25 national staff
  • Budget 550 000€

The main objective of SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL in Sudan is to contribute to the provision of vital water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and to fill the urgent WASH gaps for the refugee population and host communities in Gedaref State.

Within this framework SI provides an emergency and life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) response to refugees arriving in the newly established camp in Gedaref State (Tunaydbah) and to fill the critical lack of access to water in Village 8 while relocation efforts continue.

Among the activities undertaken are:

  • emergency access to drinking water, through water trucking to increase the amount of water available to at least 15 L/pers/day
  • emergency sanitation through the construction and maintenance of emergency health facilities that guarantee safety and dignity for newly relocated refugees
  • distribution of hygiene kits refills to improve hygiene practices
  • hygiene promotion activities with special emphasis on areas prone to waterborne diseases and hygiene-deficient diseases. The hygiene promotion message will include the key prevention messages of COVID-19.

Crisis and Support Center

Should you have any questions, please contact Thierry Benlahsen,

Thierry Benlahsen


At head office