Sudan: About 7,600 children fleeing homes daily in world’s largest child displacement crisis
KHARTOUM, 28 November 2023 –About 7,600 children are fleeing their homes daily in Sudan, according to new analysis by Save the Children, with seven months of conflict causing havoc and horror across much of the country and one eighth of children now displaced.
Dozens of displaced children have sought urgent care as the result of horrific sexual violence, life-changing injuries, and severe psychological distress from Save the Children medical and child protection staff.
Sudan is now the world’s largest child displacement crisis, with 3 million children – from a population of about 23 million children - having fled violence since mid-April 2023 to seek shelter in camps, schools, displacement centres, or in crowded homes with relatives.
The most recent data showed that an estimated 350,000 children were displaced between the start of October and 15 November. This included some children who had already been displaced but were forced to seek safety for a second or a third time.
The third week of October saw the most displacements during this period, with about 150,000 children forced from their homes.
Violent attacks on villages and towns are forcing parents to flee to protect their children from sexual violence, kidnapping, recruitment, maiming, and death.
Displacement centres are also being targeted with a reported 1,300 people killed, including children, in an attack on one camp for displaced people in Darfur. UNICEF has received allegations of over 3,100 severe violations, including the killing and maiming of children, although it is understood this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Dr Arif Noor, Save the Children’s Country Director in Sudan, said:
“We are seeing abhorrent levels of violence in Sudan. The human rights violations are severe, widespread, and ongoing – and yet the crisis is being entirely ignored. There is a prevailing climate of impunity. Children are being forced to flee, sometimes in the middle of the night to arrive to crowded gathering sites, where infectious diseases can spread easily.
“Despite the magnitude of the needs, the necessary political and financial attention is not there. The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) remains to be one third funded. This is despite Sudan having nearly 25 million people in desperate need of the basics – food, shelter, protection.
“Sudan is a monumental emergency, and it needs a monumental response by global players. We need urgent and increased resources to protect children and families now – while they are displaced – but we also need structures in place to protect them on the move, and when they arrive at the saturated gathering sites.”
Save the Children has worked in Sudan since 1983 and is providing life-saving aid and children protection services together with national and international partners. Since the conflict broke out, Save the Children has reached 220,000 people, including 120,000 children and is operating medical and nutrition centres to provide food and other items for displaced families.
 Based on the latest IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix for Sudan snapshot dated 21 November, which shows that the number of IDPs because of the current conflict increased from 4.4 million to 5.1 million between 30 September and 15 November. The share of children is based on the latest monthly displacement overview from IOM which found that 53% of IDPs in Sudan were children. This figure was then divided by the number of days in the period (46) to come to the average of about 7,600 per day.
For more information please contact:
- Katharina Schroeder Katharina.Schroeder@savethechildren.org
- Daphnee Cook, Daphnee.Cook@savethechildren.org;
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