Another Bitter Blow for Children in Sudan

This is a summary of what was said by UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder – to whom quoted text may be attributed - at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

12 May 2023

Geneva, 12 May 2023 – “The factory in Khartoum which produces therapeutic food for children in Sudan suffering the most dangerous form of malnutrition has been burnt down.

"The fire destroyed 14,500 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). This was set to be transported to locations for the life-saving treatment of 14,500 children.

"This is the darkest, most distinct illustration to date of how this conflict threatens the lives of children through multiple means. It is yet another bitter blow to Sudan’s most vulnerable children.

"The SAMIL factory produced 60% of the RUTF used to treat children with Severe Acute Malnutrition in Sudan last year.

"The fire also resulted in the total destruction of the machinery of the factory, with total stoppage of the production. This will significantly affect the timely delivery of nutrition supplies to thousands of children.

"In overall response to the malnutrition crisis in Sudan, UNICEF currently has 34,000 cartons of RUTF in a shipment en route from France.

"An additional 81,000 cartons are ready to be sent from France at the end of this month.

"Somewhat miraculously – certainly heroically – 80% of Outpatient Therapeutic Programmes are currently operational in Sudan. This is testament to UNICEF’s partners, and the health workers of Sudan.

"Despite such selfless efforts, conflict continues to prevent children from reaching treatment; conflict continues to destroy health facilities; and now conflict has destroyed a lifeline for Sudan’s most vulnerable children.”


Media contacts

James Elder
Tel: +41 79941 5298


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