The situation has deteriorated drastically for the people of Sudan. Now Unicef is sounding the alarm that more must be done so that children do not risk dying from acute malnutrition.
– As the conflict in Sudan rages, the situation for the children continues to become more devastating every day. They are the future of Sudan and we cannot stand by and watch their lives be shattered by the violence, says Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in a statement on Tuesday.
Over 620,000 children in Sudan are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition. Unicef believes that half of them may die if they do not receive immediate care.
Looting of food deliveries
At the same time, the efforts of the international community are making progress. This week the UN Food Program managed to deliver food to 15,000 people in areas controlled by both sides in Khartoum. In total, since May 3, they have managed to give food to 725,000 people across the country. According to the UN, the supply of food will continue to be uncertain. 17,000 tonnes of UN food supplies have been lost due to widespread looting.
– More children than ever before in Sudan need life-saving help. An overwhelming 13.6 million children need urgent assistance. That is more than the entire population of Sweden, or Rwanda or Portugal. All children, and the number is rising, says Unicef spokesperson James Elder during a press conference in Geneva.
Peace negotiations are paused
Khartoum’s largest orphanage, state-run Mygoma, takes in hundreds of children and has the very youngest deaths. Due to the conflict and lack of staff, the babies are not getting enough food. Since the war broke out just over six weeks ago, more than 50 children have died at the orphanage, the staff told Reuters.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have acted as mediators between the parties, but a Sudanese government source told the news agencies AFP and Reuters on Wednesday that the peace negotiations have been paused.
Watch the doctor at the orphanage talk in the clip above.