Six children die from malnutrition in South Darfur camp

Displaced people in Kalma camp for the displaced near Nyala in South Darfur in 2014 (file photo: Albert González Farran / UNAMID

Aid workers confirmed the deaths of six children, including a newborn baby, due to malnutrition. An additional 97 cases of severe malnutrition were recorded across displacement camps in Kass, South Darfur, last week.

Head Sheikh Abdelrahman Abdallah Khouri of the Kass camps told Radio Dabanga that a survey conducted by a local aid organisation confirmed the deaths of six children, aged between one-day to two-years-old, due to malnutrition. 

Alarming figures also revealed acute malnutrition in other camps in Kass, with 50 children affected in the Abdeljabbar camp and an additional 47 children in the El Batari camp, prompting urgent calls for intervention.

In Central and West Darfur, displaced leaders reported that refugees from camps are continuing to flee to eastern Chad due to a lack of food and medicine

Speaking anonymously for security reasons, one leader highlighted the harsh humanitarian conditions faced by displaced individuals in camps such as Um Haleeb and Ronga Tas, attributing the ongoing exodus to conflicts, political and economic instability, environmental degradation, and severe malnutrition.

The United Nations raised concerns about the daily influx of Sudanese refugees into eastern Chad due to food shortages, with the number of refugees sometimes exceeding a thousand per day, crossing the border into Adré.

UN deputy humanitarian coordinator in Sudan reports cite a complete lack of food, soaring corn prices, disrupted water sources, and outbreaks of severe malnutrition among vulnerable groups.

Whilst refugees from Darfur continue to flow into Chad, those already in the Chadian camps of Iridimi, Alacha, Adré, and Gaga report dire humanitarian conditions.

Nierteti conference 

In response to the ongoing crisis, the preparatory forum for the Conference on Humanitarian Issues in Darfur region announced plans for another conference in Nierteti, Central Darfur, scheduled from May 29 to 31. This follows their previous forum held at the Kalama camp in South Darfur in late March.

The conference aims to address the root causes of the conflict and the urgent humanitarian needs. Over 200 representatives from displaced communities, civil society organisations, and local leaders are expected to participate. 

The committee reportedly will also be held in cooperation with the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid Nur (SLM-AW).

International institutions and organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union have been invited to contribute to the discussions.