The war in Sudan has rendered many parts of the country inaccessible. Photo: Reuters

By Brian Okoth

The ongoing conflict in Sudan has forced at least one million children to flee their homes, the United Nations (UN) says.

The global body further states that more than 330 children have been killed as the war, which broke out on April 15, intensifies.

Some 1,900 minors have also been injured as a result of the fight which entered its third month on Friday, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says.

“Many more [children] are at grave risk,” says the UN.

According to the global body, more than 13 million children in the country are in “dire need” of humanitarian assistance. Water, health services and food are scarce as most facilities remain closed.

“The future of Sudan is at stake, and we cannot accept the continued loss and suffering of its children,” Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF Representative in Sudan, said on Thursday.

“Children are trapped in an unrelenting nightmare, bearing the heaviest burden of a violent crisis they had no hand in creating – caught in the crossfire, injured, abused, displaced and subjected to disease and malnutrition,” she said.

UNICEF is now appealing for security to allow it to deliver basic items to children who are “in desperate need”.

Situation in Darfur

“The situation in Darfur is especially concerning. A continuing communication blackout and access constraints mean verified information on the situation is limited, but an estimated 5.6 million children live in the five Darfur states, with almost 270,000 of them estimated to have been newly displaced by the fighting so far,” says the UN.

Active fighting, severe insecurity and looting of humanitarian aid continues to hamper assistance efforts in West and Central Darfur, the UN says.

“Right now, at least 14,836 children under-five are expected to be severely malnourished in West Darfur state. These numbers are expected to be compounded by overall health risks, forcing a spike in malnutrition rates among children and lactating mothers.”

The situation is similar in the central and eastern parts of Darfur.

Running out of funds

UNICEF has now appealed for $838 million aid to address the crisis, an increase of $253 million since the Sudan conflict began more than eight weeks ago. It warns that without immediate funding, the ongoing humanitarian assistance across Sudan “will not be able to continue”.

“UNICEF calls on all parties involved in the conflict to prioritise the safety and well-being of children, ensure their protection, and enable unimpeded humanitarian access to affected areas.”

More than 800 people have lost their lives in the ongoing Sudan war, and more than 2 million displaced, the UN estimates.

The parties in the conflict are the Sudanese military, which is headed by the transitional president Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary forces, headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

A clash broke out between them as the country prepared for a return to civilian democracy.

TRT Afrika