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Nearly half of Ethiopian refugees in Sudan are children: UNICEF

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Over 25,000 Ethiopians have fled into Sudan, with numbers continuing to grow, including these families photographed on November 13, 2020 (AFP photo)
December 11, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Around 22,000 Ethiopian children have arrived in eastern Sudan fleeing the armed conflict between the Ethiopian federal army and the Tigrayian rebel group, said the UNICEF on Friday.

UN refugee agency UNHCR says over 50,000 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Sudan seeking refuge in Kassala and Gadaref states.

"An estimated 22,000 children have made the arduous and often traumatic journey to the border and now face mounting uncertainty for their future," said UNICEF.

The UN children’s agency said they urgently need clean water and sanitation in the border centres and the camps where they gather. Also, they need protection and gender-based violence services for the most vulnerable and at-risk refugees.

"As the crisis prolongs, health and nutrition services are becoming critical and education in emergencies services are vital to ensure the continuity of learning, a semblance of normalcy and safe spaces for children to be children," further stressed.

On 1 December, Save the Children said that there are 139 refugee children in Soudan without their families and called to reunite them with their families.

However, UNICEF said they identified 228 unaccompanied children.

According to the agency, there are 8,200 children under five who have been screened for malnutrition at border entry points.

(ST)

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