About 500 children have died from hunger in Sudan — including two dozen babies in a government-run orphanage in the capital of Khartoum — since fighting erupted in the East African country in April, a leading aid group said Tuesday.
Save the Children also said that at least 31,000 children lack access to treatment for malnutrition and related illnesses since the charity was forced to close 57 of its nutrition centers in Sudan.
Sudan was plunged into chaos after monthslong tensions between the military and a rival paramilitary force exploded into open fighting on April 15. The conflict has turned Khartoum and other urban areas into battlefields. Many residents live without water and electricity, and the country’s health care system has nearly collapsed.
“Never did we think we would see children dying from hunger in such numbers, but this is now the reality in Sudan,” said Arif Noor, Save the Children’s director for Sudan. “We are seeing children dying from entirely preventable hunger.”
The violence in Sudan is estimated to have killed at least 4,000 people, according to Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office. Activists and doctors on the ground, however, say the death toll is likely far higher.