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120 children are killed daily by malnutrition in Sudan: UNICEF

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UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore speaks to women at Maternal and Child Health Uni in the Kadugli Paediatric Hospital in Kadugli on 27 October 2019 (UNICEF photo)
October 29, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Some 120 Sudanese children die on daily basis as a result of malnutrition said the UNICEF at the end of a visit of its Executive Director to the east African country, on Tuesday.

Henrietta Fore, during a three-day visit to Khartoum and Kadugli, met with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and several senior officials and travelled to the capital of South Kordofan to inspect the humanitarian situation in the troubled region.

“This is a defining moment,” Fore said. “Moving forward, as Sudan starts the next chapter in its history, it is critical that it reconfirms its commitment to its youngest citizens by putting children and young people front and centre.”

Following the ouster of the former regime, the new government agreed with the armed groups to open humanitarian access to the affected civilians in the conflict zones.

Further, it allowed a visit of the chief of the World Food Programme to the rebel-held areas in the Nuba Mountains to assess the humanitarian situation and meet local officials.

UNICEF said the long-time conflicts in Sudan have left millions of children vulnerable, and disclosed some figure to show how much they are at risk.

According to the UN children agency, over 38 per cent of children under-five years are believed to be too short for their age, while some 17 per cent are too thin for their height.

Before to add that “Approximately 120 children die every day due to undernutrition and related causes, and 2.6 million children need humanitarian assistance”.

The international organisation further pointed out that about one million children were displaced in 2019, and more than three and half million are out of school, mostly in the conflict areas.

Fore urged the Sudanese officials to “prioritize children’s needs including by strengthening action against malnutrition, addressing the education crisis, and increasing investments in children and young people”.

During her visit to Kadugli, she stressed on the need to demobilize children formerly involved in the fighting and help reintegrate them in their communities and pledged to support this demobilization.

“The recruitment and use of children in armed forces and armed groups in Sudan must end,” she said. “UNICEF is working with all parties to get children away from the front lines and back in their communities,” Fore said.

(ST)

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