Sudan’s Hunger Crisis: 500 Children Dead, Millions Displaced

Amid the chaos that erupted in Sudan this April, approximately 500 children have tragically lost their lives due to hunger, with about two dozen infants among them at a state-run orphanage in Khartoum, the capital city. The situation has been further compounded as Save the Children, a prominent aid organization, was compelled to shutter 57 of its nutrition centers, leaving at least 31,000 children without access to vital treatment for malnutrition and its associated ailments.

The ongoing turmoil in Sudan, ignited by escalating tensions between military and paramilitary factions, has transformed urban areas, including Khartoum, into veritable battlegrounds. Essential resources like water and electricity are scarce, while the healthcare system teeters on the brink of collapse.

Arif Noor, Save the Children’s director for Sudan, lamented, “Never did we think we would see children dying from hunger in such numbers, but this is now the reality in Sudan.” The conflict’s death toll is estimated to exceed 4,000, though reports from those on the ground suggest an even higher count.

The upheaval has forced nearly one million people, including refugees from South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, to flee Sudan, while an additional 3.6 million have been internally displaced. While some neighboring nations have shown commendable support by opening their borders, bureaucratic barriers have arisen, hindering assistance.

Save the Children’s distressing report reveals that from May to July, at least 316 children, most under 5 years old, succumbed to malnutrition or its related illnesses in the southern White Nile province. The eastern Qadarif province saw 132 children perish due to malnutrition in the government-run Children’s Hospital. In Khartoum, during the initial weeks of the conflict, 50 children, including two dozen babies, starved to death or succumbed to related illnesses in an orphanage, as access for aid was impeded by the fighting.

The dire situation also extends to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification’s assessment, indicating that over 20.3 million Sudanese, more than 42% of the population, grapple with acute food insecurity due to the ongoing conflict and economic downturn. Approximately 6.3 million individuals reside in areas that teeter on the brink of being officially classified as famine-ridden.

In the midst of this crisis, clashes continue to rage, notably around a strategic military camp south of Khartoum, highlighting the gravity of the conflict’s impact. This heart-wrenching situation underscores the urgent need for international support to alleviate suffering and protect the most vulnerable in Sudan.

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