The recent increase in fighting in Sudan’s Al Jazirah state has resulted in the displacement of at least 150,000 children in less than a week, according to a warning from UNICEF today. This escalation of fighting in Al Jazirah means that more than half of Sudan’s 18 states are currently experiencing active conflict.
It is estimated that 5.9 million people live in Al Jazirah State, with approximately half of the population being children.
Since the conflict escalated in Sudan on April 15, nearly 500,000 people have fled violence in other parts of the country to Al Jazirah State, with almost 90,000 seeking refuge in the state capital Wad Madani.
“Tens of thousands of vulnerable children in Al Jazirah state have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety as fighting erupts into areas that were previously considered relatively safe,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “This new wave of violence could leave children and families trapped between fighting lines or caught in the crossfire, with fatal consequences. With reports of renewed fighting elsewhere in the country, millions of children in Sudan are once again at grave risk.”
Wad Madani is a crucial hub for essential, lifesaving services in Al Jazirah state, including the only kidney dialysis center in the state, and currently hosts hundreds of vulnerable children evacuated from other parts of the country. Due to the fighting, all humanitarian field missions within and from Al Jazirah State have been suspended, further impacting children and families.
UNICEF and partners have been working to provide life-saving assistance to over 6 million children inside Sudan and in neighboring countries, including water, health, nutrition, safe spaces, and learning. However, the humanitarian appeal for Sudan remains only 27 per cent funded, with further support and safe and unhindered humanitarian access being critical. UNICEF requires $840 million in 2024 to sustain and scale life-saving and resilience services for close to 8 million vulnerable children in Sudan.
UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire across Sudan, and urges all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, ensuring the protection of children and facilitating rapid, safe, unimpeded humanitarian access to affected areas. Without such access, critical life-saving humanitarian support will be out of reach for millions of vulnerable children.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).