Thousands of children to die in Sudan refugee camps by year’s end, UN warns

Thousands of children to die in Sudan refugee camps by year’s end, UN warns

The UN agencies have sounded the alarm over the devastating impact the crisis in Sudan is having on young lives, with over 1,200 children having died in refugee camps since May, succumbing to suspected measles and malnutrition.

These statistics come amidst an ominous warning issued by the United Nations, saying that thousands more, including vulnerable newborns, are likely to die in refugee camps across the war-torn country by year-end. “Regrettably, we anticipate that these numbers will continue to rise,” Dr. Allen Maina, the chief of public health at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said during a UN briefing in Geneva this week.

UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, expressed grave concern for the “many thousands of newborns,” who, along with their mothers, are in dire need of skilled delivery care.

“On the back of a cruel disregard for civilians and the relentless attacks on health and nutrition services, UNICEF fears many thousands of newborns will die between now and the end of the year,” UNICEF’s spokesman James Elder told reporters.

But with millions of Sudanese finding themselves trapped in war-torn regions or displaced, and with critical medical supplies being in scarce supply, the badly needed crucial care is rapidly slipping beyond reach. UNICEF also said it sorely lacked funds, noting that it had received just a quarter of the $838 million it had requested to help 10 million children in Sudan, Elder said.

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