UN sets up core team to address dire humanitarian situation in Sudan

The United Nations (UN) and its partners are establishing a core team in Sudan to address the dire humanitarian situation in the country, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator has said.

Shortages of food, water, medicines, and fuel continue to plague the country, particularly in Khartoum and surrounding areas, while access to communications and electricity is limited in many parts of Sudan, making relief operations even more challenging, the UN agency said in a press release.

Noting that the needs are urgent and widespread, Abdou Dieng, the acting resident and humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, said that senior leadership would be returning to the Sudanese capital, as soon as the situation allows.

While some staffers are working from Port Sudan, which is only accessible by road from the capital city, others have left for other posts due to the closure of airports, he said.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths has allocated 3 million U.S. dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund to urgently respond to the arrival of Sudanese refugees and others in Chad, according to a UN press release on Wednesday.

Since mid-April, Sudan has been mired in military clashes between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces following days of tension between the once-allied leaders of both sides. At least 459 people have been killed and over 4,000 wounded in the conflict, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The organization said that more than 60 percent of health facilities in Sudan are closed and only 16 percent are operating as normal. Meanwhile, nearly 50,000 acutely malnourished children are at risk of not receiving treatment due to disrupted services, according to reports from UN partners.

The UN Children’s Fund also disclosed that nine children were killed and more than 50 injured in the ongoing conflict. ■

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