In four months, 1,200 children under the age of 5 have died in refugee camps in the Sudanese state of White Nile alone. The UN refugee organization UNHCR cites a suspected measles outbreak in combination with severe malnutrition as the cause.
The African country, hit by civil war, is facing a serious humanitarian crisis. UNHCR and the World Health Organization WHO are now once again sounding the alarm. “The world has the resources and the money to prevent all these deaths from measles or malnutrition,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
The 1,200 young children died in the period from mid-May to mid-September. This was the death toll in nine refugee camps in the state, according to UNHCR teams in White Nile. In the same period, several thousand more suspected measles infections were reported.
Millions of refugees
Other diseases are also circulating in the many refugee camps in the country and the region. This concerns, for example, dengue and malaria, diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. In Sudan, more than 3.7 million people have fled the fighting between the government army and the RSF militia.
A humanitarian crisis is also underway locally in neighboring countries Ethiopia and South Sudan, the UNHCR emphasizes. Cholera and measles are circulating in camps in areas bordering Sudan. Young children in particular die from measles.
The situation is also dire in the West Sudanese region of Darfur. Citizens are being attacked there because of their origins, hundreds of thousands of people have fled to neighboring Chad.
Correspondent Elles van Gelder and cameraman Sven Torfinn recently traveled to the border between Chad and Sudan to record the stories of refugees:
- Humanitarian disaster at Sudan border: are we turning a blind eye to ethnic cleansing?
- Scars of ethnic violence in Darfur torn open: ‘They are coming to finish the genocide’
- Sudanese capital bombed for two days, 25 civilian deaths reported