Selangor Journal
Smoke rises from burning aircraft inside Khartoum Airport during clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 17, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

WHO: Sudan death toll rises to 413

GENEVA, April 22 — The World Health Organisation said Friday that 413 people have died in the current Sudan conflict, while the UN children’s agency said children are paying a high price, with at least nine reportedly killed in the fighting and more than 50 badly injured.

WHO spokesperson Margaret told a UN press conference that according to figures from the government in Sudan, 413 people have died and 3,551 have been injured in the conflict, reported Anadolu Agency.

The fighting is part of ongoing clashes between the country’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

She said there had been 11 verified attacks on health facilities, including 10 since April 15.

“According to the Ministry of Health in Sudan, the number of health facilities that have stopped working is 20 and the number of health facilities at risk of stopping is 12,” said Harris.

“This means all those people who needed care, and this is not only the people who’ve been injured in the terrible fighting, but the people who needed treatment before and continuing treatment,” are impacted, said the WHO spokesperson.

At the same press conference, Unicef spokesperson James Elder said: “Clearly, the fighting is taking a devastating toll on children.

“We now have reports of at least nine children killed and at least 50 injured. Those numbers will continue to rise as long as fighting continues.”

Elder also said that large numbers of people are trapped and do not have access to electricity.

“They’re terrified of running out of food, water, and medicines,” he said.

“One of our grave concerns is about hospitals that have come under fire.”

Elder said Sudan already had one of the highest rates of malnutrition among children in the world.

“And now critical life-saving care for an estimated 50,000 severely acutely malnourished children has been disrupted. This is life threatening,” said the Unicef spokesperson.

The fighting also puts at risk “the cold chain” in Sudan, including over US$40 million worth of vaccines and insulin, due to breaks in the power supply and the inability to restock generators with fuel, said Elder.

Unicef also has reports of children sheltering in schools and care centres while fighting rages around and of children’s hospitals forced to evacuate as shelling moves closer.

Elder said that before the escalation of violence in Sudan, humanitarian needs for children in the country were high, with an estimated three-quarters of children living in extreme poverty.

At the same time, 11.5 million children and community members needed emergency water and sanitation services, 7 million children were out of school, and more than 600,000 children suffered from severe acute malnutrition.

Fighting erupted last Saturday between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital Khartoum and its surroundings.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in what political forces called a “coup”.

Meanwhile, due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan, the mosques in the capital Khartoum remained empty during the Eid al-Fitr prayer on Friday.

— Bernama

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