At least two million children have been forced to flee their homes since conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (FAR) paramilitary group broke out in Sudan four months ago, an average of more than 700 new displaced persons every hour, The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) warned today.
“We are hearing unimaginable stories from children and families, some of whom have lost everything and have had to watch loved ones die before their eyes. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we need peace now for children to survive”, said in a statement the representative of UNICEF in Sudan, Mandeep O’Brien.
It is estimated that more than 1.7 million children have been displaced within the Sudanese borders, while more than 470,000 have crossed into neighboring countries, including Egypt and Chad.
According to the latest figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), belonging to the UN, nearly 4.5 million people have fled their homes since the outbreak of the conflict on April 15.
According to Unicef, currently, nearly 14 million children need urgent humanitarian aidand many of them face “multiple threats and terrifying experiences” every day.
”The lethal combination of measles and malnutrition seriously endangers the lives of children if urgent action is not taken. As the conflict continues to ravage the country, almost 700,000 children with severe acute malnutrition they are at high risk of not surviving if they do not receive treatment,” the agency said.
Last Tuesday, the Save The Children organization reported that at least 498 children had starved to death, including babiesas a consequence of the war, which has caused one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in the African country in decades.
He regretted that since the beginning of the conflict, on April 15, Save the Children It has been seen forced to close 57 of its nutrition centers.
“In the 108 installations While the agency is still operating, therapeutic food stocks are being critically depleted, and reserve stocks or emergency supplies are now used in the most extreme cases,” he added.
“We never thought we would see so many children starvingbut now this is the reality in Sudan,” said the NGO’s national director in Sudan, Arif Noor.
“Seriously ill children are arriving in the arms of desperate mothers and fathers at nutrition centers across the country and our staff have few options on how to treat them. We are seeing children die of starvation that is totally avoidable, ”she lamented.
The NGO recalled that before the conflict began, the shortage of funds had led Sudan to nearly exhaust its supplies of high-calorie, micronutrient-rich peanut pastes essential for treating malnutrition, including “Plumpy’Nut” and “Plumpy’Sup” pastes.
Sudan’s only factory for the manufacture of “Plumpy’Nut”, which produced around 10,000 tons of paste every year, and which supplied aid agencies such as Save the Children and the World Food Program (WFP) was burned down in May added the note.
Noor urged in the note that the international community to work “not only to increase funding, but also to find collective solutions to ensure that much-needed food and assistance can be delivered safely to children and their families across Sudan.”
After four and a half months, the fighting has caused more than 1,100 deaths, according to official figures, although other sources increase this number to more than 3,000.
(with information from EFE)
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