Khartoum – The international community and governments have been urged to contribute more funding so as to tackle the issue of malnutrition faced by children under the age of five years in Sudan.
UNICEF representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere on Sunday said about two million children suffer malnutrition, of which nearly 550 000 children have acute malnutrition, with many of those affected living in the underdeveloped east and conflict-hit Darfur region.
Cappelaere said, “billions, not millions of dollars (euros) are needed to reduce child malnutrition levels.
“We need to continue encouraging the government to invest more in malnutrition, but at the same time it will have to be a collective responsibility, the international community will have to step up if it is serious in its commitment to help the Sudanese people.”
He added that, “Over 38% of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished across Sudan. The number of children under five affected by chronic malnutrition works out at around two million, this figure includes 550 000 with severe acute malnutrition.”
The worst affected areas are Red Sea State in eastern Sudan and North Darfur State in the west.
Report by UN reveals that ethnic insurgents have been battling the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in the western Darfur region since 2003, displacing millions and leaving about 300 000 people dead.
Eastern Sudan has suffered from severe underdevelopment and is one of the country’s poorest regions.
Every year, UNICEF in Sudan treats about 150 000 of the most severely malnourished children.