Sudan war leaves 700,000 children facing life-threatening malnutrition
A staggering 700,000 children in Sudan face the worst and most life-threatening form of hunger after 300 days of war, UN humanitarians warned on Friday.
Earlier this week the UN aid coordination office, OCHA, appealed for $2.7 billion to meet most urgent needs inside Sudan, but the appeal is just four per cent funded.
This is despite repeated dire warnings about the scale and severity of the hunger and displacement crisis in Sudan, after rival Sudanese militaries embarked on a brutal conflict last April.
Both forces have since refused to heed regional and international calls for peace.
“The world’s largest displacement of children has been seen in Sudan,” said UN Children’s Fund spokesperson James Elder. “Four million children have been displaced, that’s 13,000 children every single day, for 300 days. Safety, gone, worldly possessions, gone. Friends and family members separated or lost. Hope, fading.”
Describing his visit last week to Sudan’s Darfurs, Mr. Elder told journalists in Geneva that of the more than 700,000 children who are likely to suffer severe acute malnutrition - the most dangerous form of hunger - UNICEF “won't be able to treat more than 300,000 of those without improved access and without additional support. In that case, tens of thousands would likely die.”
International efforts to help the people of Sudan and Sudanese refugees include Wednesday’s joint appeal by OCHA and the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. Assistance can’t come too soon for dangerously malnourished under-fives, warned the UN health agency’s Tarik Jasarevic, who stressed the immediate positive impact on removing all aid obstacles.
“These babies can recover very quickly. If there is a possibility to provide them with therapeutic feeding, babies in matter of few days can go from the brink of death to be playing, you know, in those centres.”
In addition to millions of people uprooted by the conflict and life-threatening hunger, the people of Sudan have also endured a 500 per cent increase in verified cases of killings, sexual violence and recruitment into armed groups compared with a year ago. “That equates to a terrifying number of children killed, raped or recruited. And these numbers are, of course, the tip of the iceberg,” Mr. Elder said.
“This, is a war destroying health and nutrition systems, and that is killing people,” he insisted. “This is a war destroying the concept of respect for the laws of war, and that is killing people. This is a war destroying families’ ability to feed and protect themselves, and that is killing people. But this is also a war destroying opportunity, and that destroys a country and the future of an entire generation.”
STORY: Sudan child nutrition alert: UNICEF, WHO
TRT: 1 min 46s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 9 FEBRUARY 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley
2. Wide shot: speakers at the podium during a press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) – James Elder, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson: “More than 700,000 children are likely to suffer the most dangerous form of malnutrition this year. UNICEF won't be able to treat more than 300,000 of those without improved access and without additional support. In that case, tens of thousands would likely die.”
4. Medium shot: press room with journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) – James Elder, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson: “There's been a fivefold increase in verified cases of killings, sexual violence and recruitment from a year ago. That equates to a terrifying number of children killed, raped or recruited. And these numbers are, of course, the tip of the iceberg.”
6. Medium shot: press room with journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Tarik Jasarevic, UN World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson: “These babies can recover very quickly. If there is a possibility to provide them with therapeutic feeding, babies in matter of few days can go from the brink of death to be playing, you know, in those centres.”
8. Medium shot: journalist at work
9. SOUNDBITE (English) – James Elder, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson: “All parties have have restricted the movement of aid. So, the operating context could not be more difficult. The fighting continues, there are catastrophic levels of need. The funding nowhere near matches these. And then when we get aid with brave partners on the ground to move it, it can frustratingly and life-threateningly not move for two months.”
10. Medium shot: journalist at work
11. Wide shot: producers at work
12. Medium shot: press room with journalists
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