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By Andrea Andres
26 April 2023

Our hearts go out to the innocent children and families who are caught in the midst of conflict in Sudan. Over the last few weeks, armed violence and civil unrest has continued to escalate, particularly in its capital and the Darfurs, taking a devastating toll on children.  

Even before the surge in violence, humanitarian needs for children in Sudan were higher than ever before, with 15.8 million people—about a third of the total population—requiring humanitarian assistance.   

Now, more than ever, the children of Sudan need our help.

James Elder on Sudan Unrest

UNICEF Spokesperson, James Elder, talks about the unrest in Sudan and its impact on children and their families.

How is the crisis impacting children in Sudan?

UNICEF expresses grave concerns about the devastating impact of the fighting on children and families in Sudan, particularly the most vulnerable. The current conflict has worsened the already dire situation for young ones in Sudan. 

As of 17 April, 55 children were reported injured and nine killed in Khartoum, Darfurs, and north Kordofan due to the conflict. Many children are trapped in the crossfire, and more are fleeing their homes out of fear for their lives.  

Sudan has one of the highest rates of malnutrition among children in the world. Even before the conflict, more than 3 million children were acutely malnourished and 610,000 were severely wasted. Critical life-saving care has been already disrupted and without adequate treatment many children will not survive.

All schools and educational institutions in Sudan have also closed, raising concerns about the well-being of children, as schools provide a protective environment against physical and mental threats.  

Access to essential supplies, such as food, water, and hygiene, for children and their families is severely constrained across most of the country.  

Every child deserves to be safe, especially during times of crisis. At UNICEF, we are committed to ensuring that no child is left behind in Sudan.

"Many families are trapped with little or no access to electricity, so they are terrified of running out of food, of water, running out of medicines."

James Elder
UNICEF Global Spokesperson

How is UNICEF responding? 

Deliveries being packaged for transport in Sudan.
Essential health and nutrition supplies destined for north Darfur are carefully prepared for transport in Sudan.
© UNICEF/ UN0832993/Unknown

During this challenging time, UNICEF is prioritising the safe passage of children, their families, and our staff across Sudan. We continue to maintain critical services that are impacted by the current conflict, such as vaccine cold chain, water, critical health care, access to basic supplies and services, and child protection.  

UNICEF has provided emergency health kits, essential supplies and medicines to hospitals and primary healthcare centres to support the treatment of the injured and access to life-saving health services. This includes health and nutrition kits delivered on 25 April to five primary healthcare centres and one stabilization centre in El Fasher, north Darfur. 

Children are bearing the brunt of violence and instability in Sudan. UNICEF urgently appeals for the immediate cessation of the conflict to protect children from harm. We will continue to work tirelessly to provide life-saving support to those who need it most. 

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children impacted by conflict and crisis and help them build a brighter future.


People fleeing their neighbourhoods amid fighting in Sudan.
© UNICEF/UN0831618/AFP

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