19 Sep 2023, 17:51

1,200 children died in Sudan camps since May: UN

GENEVA, Sept 19, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Over 1,200 children have died in Sudan 
refugee camps since May, while thousands of newborns are likely to die across 
the war-torn country by year-end, the UN said Tuesday.

The United Nations sounded the alarm over the impact the crisis in Sudan is 
having on the health situation for children.

"On the back of a cruel disregard for civilians and the relentless attacks on 
health and nutrition services, UNICEF fears many thousands of newborns will 
die between now and the end of the year," UN children's agency spokesman 
James Elder told reporters in Geneva.

He pointed out that 333,000 children are due to be born in the country 
between October and December.

At the same time, nutrition services in the war-ravaged country have been 
"devastated", he said.

"Every month 55,000 children require treatment for the most lethal form of 
malnutrition, and yet in Khartoum less than one in 50 nutrition centres is 
functional. In West Darfur it's one in 10," Elder said.

The UN refugee agency, for its part, said its teams in Sudan's White Nile 
state had determined that between May 15 and September 14, more than 1,200 
children under the age of five had died across nine refugee camps.

Those camps were hosting mainly refugees from South Sudan and Ethiopia, Allen 
Maina, UNHCR chief of public health told reporters in Geneva.

Another 3,100 suspected cases of measles were also reported in the same 
period, and more than 500 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in 
other parts of the country, along with outbreaks of dengue and malaria, the 
agency said.

"The world has the means and the money to prevent every one of these deaths 
from measles or malnutrition," UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said in a 

"We can prevent more deaths, but need money for the response, access to those 
in need, and above all, an end to the fighting."

UNICEF also said it sorely lacked funds, noting that it had received just a 
quarter of the $838 million (784 million euros) it had requested to help 10 
million children in Sudan, Elder said.

"Such a funding gap will mean lives lost."

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