Doctors Without Borders said on Monday that a child dies every two hours in the Zamzam camp for displaced people in Darfur, western Sudan, and condemned the “catastrophic situation” there.
Claire Nicolet, Doctors Without Borders' head of emergencies in Sudan, said in a statement: “We estimate that at least one child dies every two hours in the camp, about 13 children per day ,” he said, adding that “children who suffer from severe malnutrition may die within 3 to 6 weeks if they do not receive treatment.”
The NGO indicated that about a quarter of the children tested suffered from severe malnutrition, while about 40% of children aged 6 months to two years suffered from malnutrition.
Furthermore, the number of deaths in the camp – which is the largest and oldest in the country, and houses an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people – is “very worrying”, with a death rate of 2.5 per 10,000 people per day.
Nicolette said, “Before the war started, the camp's residents were heavily dependent on international aid for food, health care and drinking water. Today, they have been almost completely abandoned.”
The World Food Program has not distributed food since May, he said, and families were forced to drink “swamp or river water.”
In a joint statement issued on Monday, UN experts also expressed concern, saying that “about 25 million people in Sudan, including 14 million children, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.”
The statement said the humanitarian crisis had “led to unprecedented mass migration” and left more than 9 million people internally displaced, most of whom live in abandoned schools and buildings. “They are in appalling conditions with limited support from international humanitarian organisations.”
Since April 15, fighting has been taking place in Sudan between military forces led by the head of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Muhammad Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti), and so far the result has been. Thousands died, including 10,000 to 15,000 in Darfur city, according to a report by UN experts.