Child famine likely to hit war torn Sudan soon, warns UN


Child malnutrition in Sudan has become the focus of three UN agencies who recently warned of a “significant deterioration” in the desperately poor health of children and mothers in war-torn Sudan, calling for “urgent action,” reports AFP via Arab News on May 30th.

“The lives of Sudan’s children are at stake and urgent action is needed to protect an entire generation from malnutrition, disease and death,” the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Program (WFP) said in a statement.

Child malnutrition in Sudan is “at emergency levels,” the statement said further warning of an impending famine if a solution to the war is not found and in particular access that aid agencies have to get food to critical areas.

In Central Darfur, acute malnutrition is estimated to be at 15.6 percent among children under five, while at the Zamzam camp for displaced people in North Darfur state it is close to 30 percent. In Zamzam aid agencies have been warning about high numbers of child deaths since February.
“We need immediate and safe access to deliver the humanitarian assistance that they so desperately need,” said WFP head Cindy McCain.

Sudan’s recent civil war has been raging for over a year between the regular army led by de facto ruler Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and the RSF led by his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, including up to 15,000 in a single West Darfur town, according to UN experts.
Nearly nine million people have been forced from their homes.

READ: US Senate considers sanctions against Sudan RSF leader

“The ongoing hostilities are worsening the drivers of child malnutrition,” the agencies said.
“These include a lack of access to nutritious food, safe drinking water and sanitation, and increased risk of disease,” they added.
“Sudan is facing an ever-increasing risk of conflict-induced famine that will have catastrophic consequences including the loss of life, especially among young children.”
The agencies said the conflict “is also severely impacting the delivery of humanitarian supplies, leaving countless women and children without access to vital food and nutritional support… (while) growing violence and bureaucratic procedures impede access to conflict affected areas.”

“Millions of lives are at stake and the international community must act now or we risk losing an entire generation of children,” she said.
The agencies warned: “The window to avert the worst is rapidly closing.”



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