Refugees Can Now Work And Be Part Of Sudan’s Economy
The government of Sudan finally agreed to issue approximately 30,000 work permits to refugees in Sudan’s Kassala state.
Reports say there are an estimated 80,000 refugees in the region and issuance of work permits offers opportunity for the refugees to improve their living conditions and be part of the Sudanese economy.
The policy was realized through the work of the Transitional Solutions Initiative (TSI), a joint program between UNHCR, UNDP, the World Bank and the Government of Sudan. The initiative seeks to provide a framework for transitioning displacement situations in Sudan, expanding livelihood and increase refugees’ opportunity for self-sufficiency.
US hails the decision
The U.S. welcomed Sudan’s decision to issue work permits for refugees in eastern Sudan, calling it a “major step.”
Noted in a press statement by Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, 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.
She says the issuance of work permits is a major step towards fostering greater self-reliance among the refugees that Sudan has hosted for many decades.
More Refugees Coming Each Day
According to Ms. Psaki, 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, she noted.
She cites that 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.” – Ms. Psaki
What Causes The Influx Of Refugees?
With the determination of South Sudan on 2011 for independence, Sudan faces economic difficulties. The conflict in Southern Kordofan in June 2011 also led to Sudanese fled to South Sudan. However, still hundreds of thousands remain trapped in conflict areas with limited food supplies and no access to humanitarian assistance. Life for refugees becomes hard and they are vulnerable to violence as well