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‘Sudan's children bear brunt of conflict’: Unicef

January 20 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Unicef Sudan distributed over 1,000 blankets to newly displaced in North Darfur (Unicef)
Unicef Sudan distributed over 1,000 blankets to newly displaced in North Darfur (Unicef)

According to Unicef, about 6,000 children are among the newly displaced who fled the recent violence in East Jebel Marra and Tawila locality in North Darfur.

In a statement issued on Monday, the UN child protection agency expressed its “grave concern” that children are increasingly bearing the brunt of the armed conflicts in the region.

“It is estimated that over sixty per cent of the verified 10,415 affected persons are children,” Unicef states.

“2015 is not a happy start for thousands of children in Sudan, as they are unfortunately double victims of the parallel realities of conflict and chronic underdevelopment,” said Unicef’s Representative Geert Cappelaere. 

“The situation has been worsened by the recent inclement cold weather,” the statement reads. “Over the last two weeks, temperatures significantly dropped from the usual twenty two degrees Celsius in winter to as low as four degrees in some parts of the country, with children, especially the newly displaced, being amongst the worst affected.

“Unicef again strongly urges all parties to the conflict in Sudan to stop the fighting, and guarantee at all times the safety of all children. Unicef also calls for unhindered access to and prioritised investment in basic social services at all levels.”

In addition to its regular lifesaving response in the nutrition, health water, sanitation and protection sectors, Unicef in collaboration with the Sudanese State Council for Child Welfare, has provided 16,000 blankets to communities most affected by the recent displacement in Darfur.

Measles

Furthermore, Unicef reported that there has been an outbreak of measles in El Gedarif and Kassala states in eastern Sudan. “As of 15th January, twelve localities have been affected with 593 confirmed cases, the majority being children under five years.”

On Monday, the Ministry of Health at Federal and State level, in collaboration with Unicef, WHO, and Médecins Sans Frontières launched a week-long vaccination campaign to address the outbreak. One million children between the ages of 6 months and 15 years will be targeted in the campaign.


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