Geneva, August 25 (IANS) The ongoing brutal conflict in Sudan has led to more than 2 million children forced out of their homes -- an average of over 700 kids newly displaced every hour, according to the Unicef.
"As violence continues to ravage the country, over 1.7 million children are estimated to be on the move within Sudan’s borders and more than 470,000 have crossed into neighbouring countries," the UN agency said in its latest report published on Thursday.
The report said that presently, close to 14 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian support, many facing multiple threats and terrifying experiences every single day.
"Apart from conflict hotspots like Darfur and Khartoum, the heavy fighting has now spread to other populated areas, including in South and West Kordofan, limiting the delivery and access of lifesaving services to those in urgent need," it noted.
Citing the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification in Sudan (IPC) report, Unicef saod that 20.3 million people will be food insecure between July and September 2023 and expected to further exacerbate close to 10 million children’s health and nutrition status.
The report went on to say that the violence also continues to obstruct the delivery of health and nutrition services, putting millions of children at risk.
"In Khartoum, the Darfur and Kordofan regions, fewer than one-third of health facilities are fully functional. Insecurity and displacement are also preventing patients and health workers from reaching hospitals, with many facilities being reportedly attacked and destroyed."
Health systems in the other 11 states are overwhelmed due to the massive displacement of populations from hotspots to these less-affected states.
According to Unicef sources, all states in Sudan are reporting severe shortage and stockout of medicines and supplies, including life-saving items.
In areas with high internal displacement and health systems stretched, such as the Blue and White Nile States, disease outbreaks, including measles, are resurfacing with reported associated deaths.
“With over two million children uprooted by the conflict in only a few months, and countless more trapped in its merciless grip, the urgency of our collective response cannot be overstated,” Mandeep O’Brien, Unicef Country Representative in Sudan. was quoted as saying in the report.
“We are hearing unimaginable stories from children and families, some of whom lost everything and had to watch their loved ones die in front of their eyes. We said it before, and we are saying it again: we need peace now for children to survive.
Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the country's armed forces and paramilitary forces in Khartoum and other areas since April 15, resulting in at least 3,000 deaths and more than 6,000 injuries, according to official figures.