Sudan war risks child malnutrition, UN warns

Three UN agencies – UNICEF, WHO, and WFP – issued a dire warning about the deteriorating nutritional situation in war-torn Sudan. 

They called for “urgent action” to prevent a “conflict-induced famine” with catastrophic consequences, particularly for children.

Sudan has been embroiled in conflict for over a year, displacing nearly nine million people and disrupting access to basic necessities like food, clean water, and sanitation. 

These factors, the agencies warn, are creating a perfect storm for widespread child malnutrition.

“The ongoing hostilities are worsening the drivers of child malnutrition,” the statement said, highlighting the lack of access to nutritious food, clean water, and increased risk of disease. 

The agencies specifically warned of “an ever-increasing risk of conflict-induced famine.”

Further hindering humanitarian efforts, the UN agencies reported “growing violence and bureaucratic procedures” hindering access to conflict zones, leaving countless women and children without critical food and nutritional support.

The situation is particularly alarming in Darfur, where child malnutrition rates are “at emergency levels.”

Central Darfur reports an estimated 15.6% of children under five suffering from acute malnutrition, while the figure climbs to nearly 30% in the Zamzam displacement camp.

WFP head Cindy McCain emphasized the urgency of the situation: “Millions of lives are at stake and the international community must act now or we risk losing an entire generation of children.”

The UN agencies’ message is clear: a window of opportunity to avert a devastating famine is rapidly closing. 

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