News / Africa

UN: Millions of Sudan's Children Facing Acute Crisis

Photo released by the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) shows women and their children outside their tents at the Zam Zam refugee camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in North Darfur, Sudan, June 11, 2014.
Photo released by the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) shows women and their children outside their tents at the Zam Zam refugee camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in North Darfur, Sudan, June 11, 2014.
Lisa Schlein

The U.N. Children’s Fund said Sudan today is home to one of the biggest children’s crises in the world. UNICEF warns conflict, displacement, and underdevelopment are putting children at risk of death, disease and disability. 

In 2003, when the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region was on the global media map, two million people were displaced. Now, 10 years later, the situation in that conflict-stricken area has not substantially improved. But the crisis no longer generates headlines.  

Representative in Sudan for the U.N. Children’s Fund Geert Cappelaere said 1.2 million people are still displaced and another 400,000 have become newly displaced this year. About 65 percent of these internally displaced people are under the age of 18.

He said many of these children have grown up in Darfur displacement camps.  He said they are in danger of becoming a lost generation if they are unable to escape from this life.

He called the situation of most of the children dire and says children are seriously affected by a number of conflicts in the country.  

The government of Sudan and rebel factions continue to fight in Darfur.  But, unlike 10 years ago, he said inter-tribal clashes are growing.  

“Of course, we have also still the war going on in the southern states of Sudan - in Kordofan states, Blue Nile where we have an estimated 500,000 kids we have not been able to access for the last three years. We have not been able to access because a very active conflict going on between the government of Sudan’s forces and the SPLM north, Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement army in the northern sector,” said Cappelaere. 

Cappelaere said the children in these states have not been vaccinated against killer diseases for years and are at high risk. Though Sudan has been polio free since 2011, he warns this crippling disease could resurface. He said aid workers have been unable to mount polio immunization campaigns for three years in these areas of conflict.  

He said chronic underdevelopment in Sudan is hitting children hard throughout the country.  

“800,000 children today are acutely malnourished in Sudan. What is interesting is that a majority of these children are not in the conflict-affected areas. A majority of these children are in the east of the country that has been spared of much conflict over the last decade," Cappelaere noted. "So, the reason for that malnutrition is not conflict related. It has much more to do with an under-investment in basic services. An important, but sad reality.”  

Another sad reality, he said, is that children are being deprived of education.  UNESCO reports 58 million children globally are out of school, two million of them are living in Sudan.

UNICEF has spent more than $1 billion in Darfur over the past decade, but it agrees the returns from this investment are paltry. Currently, it runs more than 100 operations throughout Sudan on a shoestring budget.  The agency has received less than 30 percent of the $140 million it needs to continue its life-saving programs this year.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ibrahim musa ibrahim from: algenina-darfur-Sudan
June 29, 2014 7:15 PM
justice first, dont let any criminal free

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More