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UN gravely concerned over rising child deaths in Sudan

The United Nations has sounded a distressing alarm over the escalating child mortality rates in Sudan, a tragic consequence of the relentless conflict that has gripped the nation for months.

This week, during the UN’s briefing in Geneva, UNHCR announced a harrowing set of statistics that reveals the devastating toll the war is taking on Sudan’s youngest and most vulnerable population, with malnutrition and disease rampant among children.

Since April, Sudan has been ravaged by conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). According to the latest data from the UNHCR chief of public health, Dr. Allen Maina, the number of child deaths in Sudan has reached a staggering and heart-wrenching figure.

In the past five months alone, an estimated 1,200 children under the age of five have lost their lives in both Ethiopia and Sudan camps, and an additional 55,000 children are currently in need of constant care for severe malnutrition and diseases.

These statistics, presented by UNHCR’s Chief of Public Health, highlight the catastrophic impact of the ongoing conflict on the nation’s children.

Access to food and water is emerging as one of the most pressing concerns in Sudan. UNICEF warns that thousands of children are at risk of dying by the end of this year if the conflict persists.

Of those that do pull through, their long-term development will likely be uncertain meaning a lasting scar may be left on Sudan’s future.

Nearly 7 million school-age children are out of school while over 5 million people have been newly displaced in the country. In war-torn regions, essential medical supplies remain severely restricted.

In addition to malnutrition, preventable diseases such as measles have become rampant among Sudan’s children.

A lack of access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and healthcare services has also exacerbated the spread and deadliness of cholera and malaria.

The UN reports that more than 3,100 suspected cases of measles and 500 cholera cases have been recorded since April. As well as the primary adversary of war, the knock-on effect re infection rates and the spread of disease is just as concerning to officials.

‘Unfortunately, we fear that the numbers will continue rising because of strained resources,’ stated the UNHCR chief of public health, Dr. Allen Maina.

‘WHO and UNICEF continue having logistical challenges and others to ensure supplies are adequately provided, to ensure vaccines to all the targeted refugees.’

The UN is calling on all parties involved in the conflict to prioritise the safety and well-being of children and to facilitate humanitarian access to affected areas.

Furthermore, the humanitarian agency is urging the international community to increase its support for Sudan, both in terms of aid and diplomatic intervention to find a peaceful resolution.

As the world’s attention is drawn to the mortifying child mortality crisis in Sudan, concerted global action must follow in the near future to provide a more hopeful future for the Sudan’s children.Currently, their fate hangs in the balance.