November 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) has warned against the worsening conditions of children in eastern Sudan due to malnutrition.
UNICEF deputy executive director Omar Abdi, expressed fear over the challenges facing the work of UNICEF in Sudan, particularly with regard to accessing all children.
He said that some areas are still suffering from children malnutrition despite the progress made in reducing the death rates of children below five years old from 83% to 68% together with increasing the number of children enrolled in schools and those who have access to water.
Abdi, who spoke at a press conference at the conclusion of his visit to Sudan Sunday, pointed that the budget allotted for Sudan amounts to $130 million, saying it only covers 60% of the actual needs.
He urged the partners to continue their support for UNICEF programs in Sudan, adding he discussed the work of UNICEF in Sudan with several officials including the First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Salih.
Abdi pointed the Sudanese government stressed commitment to cooperate with UNICEF to promote children’s welfare, saying he inspected the security situation and several IDP’s camps in North Darfur state.
For his part, UNICEF resident representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere said the malnutrition in eastern Sudan is worse than in Darfur, noting that UNICEF would open an office in eastern Sudan to strengthen its presence there.
“We would launch a call to provide a budget to address malnutrition issue particularly as the budget allotted to Sudan is limited,” he said
He said that 7% of the South Sudanese refugees in Sudan are children, pointing to high mortality rate among them due to malnutrition and lack of vaccination.
The director of the international cooperation department at Sudan’s foreign ministry Sirag al-Din Hamid , for his part, asked for UNICEF help to lift the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Sudan in order to allow the implementation of programs pertaining to children and education.
He described the visit of UNICEF deputy executive director to Sudan as important, saying that Khartoum attaches great hopes to the visit which reflects the level of cooperation between UNICEF and Sudan.