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Study finds one in three Sudanese children malnourished

July 21 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Displaced Nuba children in a community school in one of the poor suburbs of Omdurman (RD)
Displaced Nuba children in a community school in one of the poor suburbs of Omdurman (RD)

According to a research of Sudan’s National Council for Child Welfare and its partners, one in three Sudanese children is stunted. Their cognitive abilities are underdeveloped because of malnutrition.

About 45.7 percent of Sudanese aged between 15 and 64 years suffered from malnutrition during their childhood.

The research also showed the impact of undernutrition of children on Sudan’s national income. Child mortality due to malnutrition is estimated at 37.7 percent. This has led to a 5.2 percent reduction of the country’s labour force.

The cost loss on the labour market and productivity in 2014 is estimated at SDG11.6 billion, which is equivalent to 2.6 percent of that year’s gross domestic product.

The study emphasised the need “to develop a comprehensive food policy for the entire country”.

Food insecure

The population of Sudan is estimated at about 43.2 million people, Sudan’s National Population Council reported early July.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), reported in its latest Food Security Classification Snapshot, that almost a quarter of the country's population is now severely food insecure.

According to IPC, increased and protracted displacement, the ongoing economic crisis and high inflation that result in significant food price hikes, exacerbated by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, are the main causes of the food insecurity in Sudan.

In April, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday expressed serious concerns about the crisis facing Sudan’s transition in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. She said that untold suffering awaits Sudan unless donors act fast.

On June 25, international partners pledged to support Sudan economic reforms with $1.8 billion.

The United Nations and humanitarian partners said on Sunday that the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan needs an additional $283 million to support Sudanese affected by Covid-19.

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