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EU to provide €2 million to help fight against child malnutrition in Sudan

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January 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The EU has announced it will provide €2 million in funding to help fight child malnutrition in Sudan.

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A child suffering from severe acute malnutrition is treated at a feeding centre near El Geneina in West Darfur in April 2013 (Photo: El Sadiq/UNICEF)

An estimated 750,000 children under the age of five in Sudan are in need of treatment for severe, acute malnutrition.

The grant is being provided through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office (ECHO) to help UNICEF and its partners coordinate nutrition campaigns in eight states across Darfur and Eastern Sudan.

The project aims to reach 98,000 children under five suffering from acute and severe malnutrition

“Reaching these children is both a humanitarian and development imperative, as timely interventions to prevent or treat child malnutrition will save not only lives, but also protect children from a lifetime of chronic underachievement”, said UNICEF representative in Sudan Geert Cappelaere.

In a statement issued from Brussels on Wednesday, ECHO said the funding would allow UNICEF to continue its support to treatment of children with severe and acute malnutrition and also push for the development of sustainable solutions for managing child malnutrition, by working with local government and communities.

Malnourished children are often too weak to fight off illness, which can lead to them becoming both physically and mentally stunted.

Andrea Koulaimah, head of unit in charge of Sudan at the European Commission’s department of humanitarian aid and civil protection, said malnutrition rates in Sudan remained at “beyond emergency levels”, adding that UNICEF’s intervention was vital in addressing the nutritional problems of Sudan’s most vulnerable groups, particularly children under five.

(ST)

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