18 November 2020 - Ethiopia, South Sudan

As thousands cross border into Sudan, focus must be on safety of children

With thousands of people crossing the border from Ethiopia into Sudan, the safety of children must be the focus of any response, Save the Children urged today. It’s very easy for children to be separated from their families in the chaos, or fall victim to abuse.

According to UN[1], over the past weeks, more than 27,000 people have crossed the border to escape a flare up of violence in Ethiopia.

Arshad Malik, country director of Save the Children in Sudan, said:

“Children are extremely vulnerable in these situations; they might have seen violence, or have lost family members. In any case they had to leave everything behind, their homes, their possessions, their friends and their school. They will not always understand what’s going on, and all this can have a deep impact on children.

“The areas where people are arriving have not seen refugees in two decades, so there’s not much there to shelter the new arrivals. They need clean water, food, a place to sleep, medical care - and children need safety, places where they feel protected and where they can catch their breath.

“This all needs to be ramped up quickly in Sudan, a country that is already facing challenges in other parts. There is a hunger crisis, it is recovering from recent floods, there are internally displaced people who fled violence.

“All this is happening while funding is low. It is vital that the international community steps up its support for Sudan, so the UN and the government can give shelter to the new arrivals. Save the Children teams are gearing up to respond, and will be assessing the greatest needs in the places where children and their families are arriving every day.”

[1] https://reliefweb.int/report/sudan/pace-ethiopian-refugee-arrivals-sudan-unseen-last-two-decades-enar