Sudan, with the ongoing war, child abuse is now the order of the day

Sudan, with the ongoing war, child abuse is now the order of the day

ROME - In 100 days of conflict in Sudan, theUNICEF recorded about 2,500 serious violations of children's rights, with an average of one abuse every hour. These figures are almost certainly downwards, since they are only those that UNICEF has become aware of.

The data released. At least 435 children have been killed in the conflict and another 2,025 have been injured. In addition to the minors who have lost their lives, the organization denounces the increase in attacks against health facilities in many parts of Sudan. Some 68 percent of hospitals in the hardest-hit areas have had to shut down and at least 17 facilities have reportedly been bombed. Again: an unspecified number of hospitals have been transformed into military bases and UNICEF reports reports of many ambulances attacked while transporting the wounded. "The impact this conflict is having on children in Sudan today is beyond comprehension," says Ted Chaiban, deputy executive director of the UN Children's Fund. “Every day children are killed, injured, kidnapped and schools, hospitals, vital infrastructure and life-saving supplies are damaged, destroyed or looted,” concludes Chaiban.

Child abuse. After three months of conflict, millions of families have been displaced by the violence. Before the crisis nearly 3.8 million people were already displaced in Sudan and 1.9 million of these were children. To this human river have now been added another 1.7 million minors, fleeing between the internal and external borders of the country. All fragile creatures, vulnerable to hunger, disease, violence and often forced to separate from their families. Reports of kidnappings, recruitment of children into armed groups, ethnic and gender-based violence are also on the rise, with 4.2 million women and girls at risk of rape and ill-treatment.

The difficulties for humanitarian aid. The lack of security in almost the whole country also complicates the passage of humanitarian aid, because the same operators of non-governmental organizations and international agencies are at risk. Doctors Without Borders last week in Khartoum suffered a violent attack near the Turkish hospital, which it manages, and in a statement it specified that if minimum guarantees are not given on the safety of health workers, it will be forced to stop its activities. Meanwhile, the lack of aid has left at least 690,000 children exposed to severe acute malnutrition and 1.7 million of them, under the age of one, at risk of missing out on basic vaccinations.

The work of UNICEF. To date, the humanitarian organization has delivered more than 5,500 tons of life-saving supplies across Sudan, including the hotspots of Darfur, Kordofan and Khartoum. However, as the fighting continues, needs mount, especially among communities cut off from humanitarian support. To help all the displaced people in Sudan - writes the organization - 838 million dollars are needed to be allocated to health care, nutrition programs, water, sanitation, education and protection structures for the most vulnerable children. But this project, to date, has only been funded for 9 percent.

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