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UNICEF seek increased funding, humanitarian intervention for 450,000 children displaced by conflict

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Abuja, May 12, 2023 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling for increased funding from the international community to address the urgent needs of over 450,000 displaced children forced to flee their homes in the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

The UN agency in a statement on Friday, stated that as a result of the continuous violence in Sudan, an estimated 82,000 children have fled to neighbouring countries and approximately 368,000 more are newly displaced inside the country.

UNICEF stated that with sustained support, it aims to reach and assist more children in need and secure their rights to survival, development, and protection.

“UNICEF is stepping up humanitarian support for children on the move affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

“As violence continues, an estimated 82,000 children have fled to neighbouring countries and approximately 368,000 more are newly displaced inside the country.

UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russell, stated that “The brutal conflict in Sudan has exacted a devastating toll on the country’s children.

“Thousands have experienced deeply traumatic events or been driven from their homes in search of relative safety.

“Their situation remains precarious, and continued support and assistance from the international community and humanitarian partners are critical.”

UNICEF stated that it is expected to heighten access challenges and increase the risks of disease, and the conflict also disrupting cross-border trade and movement, leading to a sharp increase in food prices in neighbouring countries, with a higher risk of food insecurity in vulnerable host communities.

The UN agency also stated that it is also working closely with governments and partner organisations in neighbouring countries to step up essential life-saving services and support to these vulnerable children.

“The support includes provision of safe water through water trucking, water treatment, digging and repair of boreholes, sanitation facilities, hygiene items and non-food item (NFI) kits to meet refugees, returnees and host communities' needs.

“Nutrition services for children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition in health centres and mobile clinics, and the provision of nutrition supplies.

“Provision of health screening referrals, vaccination, essential drugs and medical kits to ensure access to health care and services benefiting both host and refugee populations.

“Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) prevention and response, including psychosocial support, child-friendly spaces, case management and referral to specialised services, family tracing and reunification, and supporting the case management of unaccompanied and separated children and prevention of childhood statelessness.

“Education services to ensure refugee, returnee and host community children and adolescents can access inclusive, quality education and learning opportunities in safe and protective environments,” the agency stated.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refuges (UNHCR), more than 164,000 people have sought refuge across borders since 15 April, including in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan.

In addition, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates some 736,000 people are newly internally displaced within Sudan since the start of the conflict.

Almost 3.8 million people were internally displaced within Sudan prior to the outbreak of violence.

UNICEF further revealed that many communities receiving displaced populations are already affected by multiple crises, with basic services and existing humanitarian capacity already overstretched.

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