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At least 1 child is dying every 2 hours in Sudan's Zamzam camp

February 5, 2024 at 12:34 pm

Internally displaced Sudanese citizens suffer humanitarian aid shortage as they take shelter in a school building after migrating to the east due to the ongoing civil war between the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Port Sudan, Sudan on January 03, 2024. [Ömer Erdem – Anadolu Agency]

At least one child is dying every two hours in Sudan’s Zamzam camp, one of the largest and oldest camps for displaced people in the country, French medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said today.

“Before the start of the conflict in April last year, people in the camp were heavily reliant on international support for food, healthcare, clean water – everything. Now, they have been almost completely abandoned,” said Claire Nicolet, head of MSF’s emergency response in Sudan.

Calling for an immediate, coordinated and rapid scale-up of the humanitarian response in order to save lives, MSF said almost a quarter of children screened during the assessment were found to be acutely malnourished, with seven per cent having severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Among children aged six months to two years old, the figures were even more stark with nearly 40 per cent of this age group malnourished – 15 per cent with SAM.

READ: WFP receiving reports of people dying of starvation in Sudan

“Making it clear that a serious emergency situation is present in Zamzam camp,” it added.

Forty per cent of pregnant and breastfeeding women were also found to be malnourished, “another indicator of the intense severity of the situation,” it explained.

“We estimate that at least one child is dying every two hours in the camp. Our current estimate is that there are around 13 child deaths each day. Those with severe malnutrition who have not yet died are at high risk of dying within three to six weeks if they do not get treatment. Their condition is treatable if they can get to a health facility. But many cannot,” said Claire Nicolet, head of MSF’s emergency response in Sudan.

“People are going hungry — and children are dying as a result.”

READ: The War In Sudan Silences Journalists