The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said on Thursday that over 13.6 million children are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian support in Sudan, the highest number ever recorded in the country amid intense fighting, Anadolu Agency reports.
The conflict-hit African nation has been engulfed by violence for weeks between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group.
The impact of ongoing violence continues to threaten the lives and futures of families and children, leaving basic services cut off and many health facilities closed, damaged or destroyed, the Agency said.
UNICEF appealed for $838 million to address the crisis.
A total of 297 children were evacuated from Mygoma orphanage in Khartoum and relocated to a transit centre in a safer location, it said.
“Many millions of children remain at risk across Sudan, threatened by the fighting, displacement and the subsequent impact of on the provision of life-saving services – their lives and their futures are being endangered by this conflict every day,” said Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF representative in Sudan.
More than 700 people have been killed, including 190 children, and 6,000 others injured, according to the UN.
Over 1 million residents have been displaced and more than 840,000 have sought shelter in rural areas and other states, while another 250,000 have crossed Sudanese borders.
Disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the two sides about integration of the RSF into the armed forces – a key condition of Sudan’s transition agreement with political groups.
Sudan has been without a functioning government since fall 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup”.
The transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar Al-Bashir, had been scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.