Children in Sudan
An overview of the situation of children in Sudan
Children in Sudan
Sudan is the third largest country in Africa, with a population of over 41 million. Of those, more than half (approximately 21 million) are children, of which 6.5 million are children under the age of five.
For 70 years, since 1952, UNICEF has championed the promotion and protection of child rights in Sudan, registering enormous results and changing lives especially for the most vulnerable children.
Through the systems strengthening approach, UNICEF is working with partners to ensure more children are reached with lifesaving health services including immunization; more children are enrolling and attending school and fewer children and young people affected by violence and abuse.
With increased challenges – from COVID-19 to climate change and political instability – UNICEF strives to reach at-risk children with lifesaving assistance to help them survive and thrive.
Despite the progress made for children over the years, several children in Sudan remain at risk.
- Around 3 million children in Sudan remain out of school.
- Political instability and frequent COVID-19 school closures disrupted the learning of over 8 million children since 2019.
- About 3 million children under-five years of age suffer from acute malnutrition. Of these, approximately 650,000 are suffering from severe wasting (known as severe acute malnutrition (SAM), the most deadly form of malnutrition. Without immediate support, their lives remain at risk.
- 78,000 children under 5 years of age are dying every year from preventable causes, such as malaria.
- Approximately 23 million children in Sudan are exposed to violence, abuse and exploitation.
- 31 per cent of girls aged 0-14 years have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
- 38 per cent of girls aged 15-18 years are married before the age of 18.
- Children living and working in the street and migrant children face serious challenges in accessing basic services and rights.
- Millions of households lack safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities, while open defecation remains common, putting communities at risk of diseases, especially children.
- 7.8 million children in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA HNO 2022)