War In Sudan: Over 9 Million People Displaced 

Sudan is now the country with the largest number of displaced people and the largest child displacement crisis in the world.

The people of Sudan have endured the impacts of a violent war that began in April 2023, with violence escalating since December 15th when one of the warring parties launched an attack on Wad Madani, a town in northern Al Jazira state.

The town had previously been largely unaffected and had provided a refuge for around half a million displaced people from Khartoum. However, the incursion has led to a new wave of families being forced from their homes. As a result, the International Rescue Committee and other humanitarian organizations have had to relocate their staff to safer areas.

The ongoing war has caused immense suffering to the people, with over 13,9000 lives lost. 

The situation has also led to the displacement of approximately 9 million people within the country, making it the largest internal displacement crisis in the world. The most affected are children, accounting for half of the displaced population and facing severe impacts on their health and education.

What is happening to children in Sudan?

Since mid-April 2023, heavy fighting in Sudan’s capital has upended the lives of millions of children. “The staggering statistic of 14 million children in Sudan, half of all children in the country requiring humanitarian aid is a stark reminder of the urgent need for collective action,” says Shashwat Saraf, the IRC’s regional emergency director in East Africa. “Every child deserves a chance to have a secure and healthy future.”

Soaring rates of malnutrition

Extreme levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are affecting close to 18 million people, making Sudan one of the worst food insecurity emergencies in the world.With high prices for food and low income, many families are struggling to meet their basic needs. are making it increasingly difficult for families to get what they need to survive. 

Moreover, the cost of living is skyrocketing and the inflation rate is estimated to exceed 300%, resulting in a food and essential goods shortage for millions of people.

Even before the start of the conflict, some 3 million children under 5 suffered from acute malnutrition. But the situation has worsened with tens of thousands of families on the move now finding themselves at risk of not having enough food or good nutrition. 

In addition to the food and malnutrition crisis, families are also facing limited access to essential services like basic healthcare, safe and adequate water, and sanitation services. Sudan is now grappling with a severe cholera outbreak, as more than 10,000 cases and nearly 300 deaths have been reported across several states.

One in every three children are out of school

One in every three children in the country around 6.5 million have lost access to school due to increased violence and insecurity in their region, with at least 10,400 schools shuttered in conflict-affected areas.

Additionally, over 5.5 million children who live in areas less impacted by war are currently waiting for local authorities to confirm whether schools can be reopened. This leaves them in a state of uncertainty and further prolongs the disruption to their education.

Conflict and poverty have resulted in nearly 7 million children being out of school in Sudan. With the ongoing war, it is predicted that no child in the country will be able to return to school in the coming months, exposing them to immediate and long-term dangers including displacement, recruitment by armed groups and sexual violence

Over 1.4 million asylum seekers have sought refuge in neighboring countries since April 2023. The IRC has expanded our critical services to support Sudanese refugees, including in Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

More than 565,000 people have crossed the border into Chad which already hosted 400,000 Sudanese refugees prior to the outbreak of conflict in April. Ninety percent of people arriving across the borders are women and children, with one-fifth of young children experiencing acute malnutrition.

“The fact that women and children make up such a large proportion of the new arrivals in Chad is particularly worrying because they are often the most vulnerable groups in conflict situations,” explains IRC Chad country director, Aleksandra Roulet-Cimpric. “Women and children are at greater risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse, and they may also face difficulties accessing basic necessities such as food, water and healthcare.”

In Chad, the IRC is providing drinking water and running mobile health clinics to attend to the vast health needs of the arriving population. In addition to providing immediate relief, the IRC is working to scale up its support in the areas of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, and protection. This includes providing access to safe water and sanitation facilities, as well as promoting good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease.

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