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Japan supports Unicef Sudan with $4.9 million

March 13 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Families shelter in a cave in up in Mount Marra, 9 March 2016 (RD)
Families shelter in a cave in up in Mount Marra, 9 March 2016 (RD)

The Government of Japan today responded to the humanitarian call to address the growing children’s emergency in Sudan with a $ 4.9 million grant to Unicef.

The situation of children in Sudan remains a concern with some two million children under the age of five suffering from acute malnutrition, of which 550,000 are severely acutely malnourished and at risk of death, Unicef says in a press statement today.

This has been worsened with multiple displacements in the past weeks, with increased risks in disease outbreaks, such as acute water diarrhoea and measles that threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

The Japanese grant is a part of the overall support to address the basic needs of children in nutrition, health, water, and sanitation and hygiene promotion in four conflict-affected states in the country, the press statement reads.

Hideki Ito, the Japanese Ambassador to Sudan, said “I am pleased to announce the commencement of this project that particularly targets vulnerable displaced, refugees and host communities in the four conflict-affected states of South Kordofan, West Kordofan, South Darfur, and East Darfur. I hope our contribution enables Unicef to tackle the challenges faced by children and women affected by emergencies in the targeted areas”.

The funds will specifically support the provision of improved water drinking sources and adequate sanitation for 50,000 people, screening services for 140,000 children under the age of five for severe acute malnutrition, and treatment for 10,000 identified severely acutely malnourished children. Additionally, 140,000 children will be reached with essential vaccines, 36,000 pregnant women will receive tetanus toxoid vaccines, as well as an integrated health package, and 37,000 children will receive quality treatment for common childhood illnesses. 

Some 10,000 girls and boys will have access to friendly education services and 5,000 children will receive psychosocial support. 100,000 mothers and caregivers will receive infant and young child feeding counselling in adopting good nutritional practices such as exclusive breast feeding, appropriate complementary feeding, adequate diet diversity, and frequent meals.

Unicef Representative Geert Cappelaere expressed appreciation to the Government of Japan, its peaople, and partnership with JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) for the sustained and continued support to the well-being of the children in Sudan.

“Investing in children remains an urgent imperative for Sudan, as they increasingly continue to bear the brunt of protracted emergencies and chronic underdevelopment. This valuable support from the Government of Japan will advance Unicef’s emergency response plan and enhance the resilience of Sudanese children and their caregivers, especially in the face of the recent escalation in violence in some areas,” Cappelaere emphasised.

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