OCHA: hundreds of children die of hunger in Sudan, more funding needed

A mother feeds her one-year-old daughter therapeutic food at a UNICEF-supported nutrition centre in Port Sudan (File photo: Noorani / UNICEF)

About 4.5 million people have now fled their homes since war between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces erupted in mid-April. At least 498 children in Sudan died from hunger. Measles and other diseases are spreading in the country. Only one fourth of the required funding has been raised to aid more than 18 million people in Sudan by the end of this year, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

OCHA reported in its latest situation update on Wednesday that 3,6 million people (Sudanese and refugees) in Sudan sought refuge in other, safer parts of the country. Nearly one million fled to neighbouring countries.  

Among them are around 50,000 people who fled the fierce fighting in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, between 11 and 17 August, OCHA said.

At least 60 people have been killed and 250 others injured during the fighting in Nyala, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Mazen Boulad, a member of the Nyala Emergency Room, set up by young volunteers on April 22 in the city, told Radio Dabanga yesterday however that the death toll of recent battles between the army and the RSF from August 2 to August 20 has reached more than 100. More than 500 people were wounded.


At least 498 children in the country, “and likely hundreds more”, have died from hunger, OCHA reported.

Critical services run out of food or close, according to Save the Children. Since the start of the conflict in mid-April, the international children’s organisation has been forced to close 57 nutrition facilities, “leaving 31,000 children across the country without treatment for malnutrition and related illnesses”. 

OCHA also announced suspected measles outbreaks in at least nine of Sudan’s 18 states. and cited the Ministry of Health, which recently reported 16 cases of suspected whooping cough in River Nile, Kassala and Red Sea states.

In South Kordofan, 308 acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) cases and seven related deaths have been reported by health partners, while 23,743 AWD cases have been reported in Blue Nile, White Nile, Red Sea, Kassala and El Gedaref states.

In Red Sea state, 11 dengue fever cases have been confirmed. 


“Issues in communication and displacement have made the provision of humanitarian aid challenging,” OCHA further stated.

“The looting of aid facilities, warehouses and supplies continues to pose a major challenge to the humanitarian response, diminishing stocks and equipment and resulting in delays in the delivery of life-saving assistance. A total of 19 aid workers have been killed in Sudan since 15 April.”

Only one fourth of the necessary funding for the revised Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan has been raised, amounting to $658.4 million received as of 23 August. The plan requires $2.6 billion to provide life-saving multi-sectoral assistance and protection services to 18.1 million people by the end of this year, the OCHA update concludes.