Hundreds of vulnerable children evacuated for second time as Sudan war continues to put millions of children at risk

28 December 2023

PORT SUDAN/NEW YORK, 27 December 2023 – 253 babies and children have been safely evacuated from transit centres in Wad Madani, Sudan to a safer location in the country, after fighting in Al Jazirah state erupted this month. For many of the children, this is the second time they have been evacuated after they were evacuated from Mygoma orphanages in Khartoum earlier in the year following the outbreak of the war in April.

“The recent escalation of the conflict in Sudan, and the fact that these children needed to move from areas that were previously considered safer, is a cruel reminder of the continuing toll the war is taking on children,” said UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Mandeep O’Brien. “Thankfully, a coordinated effort has ensured these children are once again out of the line of fire. The safe passage was made possible by the cooperation and facilitation of both parties to the conflict and the support of key partners. However, as long as fighting continues, no child in Sudan will be truly safe.”

The children who were evacuated from Khartoum to Wad Madani in June continue to be under the care and protection of the Ministry of Social Development. The evacuation effort, led by the Ministry, and supported by UNICEF and partners, took place over 2 days.

UNICEF and partners continue to support the Ministry’s efforts to provide the children with medical care, food and nutrition, psychosocial stimulation, play and educational activities, and supporting carers for the children, and is working with the relevant authorities and partners to identify foster families for the children.  

Across Sudan, over 14 million children are in urgent need of lifesaving humanitarian support, the highest number ever recorded in the country. The war in Sudan has resulted in the largest child displacement crisis in the World. Close to 3.5 million children have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the fighting. The impact of escalating violence - more than half of states in Sudan, 10 out of 18, are now experiencing active conflict - continues to threaten the lives and futures of families and children, leaving basic health and nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, and protection services cut off with frontline workers going without pay and many facilities closed, damaged, or destroyed.

UNICEF continues to call for an immediate ceasefire across Sudan, and reiterates its call for all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian and human rights law – including ensuring that children are protected – and that rapid, safe, unimpeded humanitarian access to children and families in affected areas is facilitated. Without such access, critical lifesaving humanitarian support will be out of reach for millions of vulnerable children. 


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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child and is committed to the children of Sudan. We never give up on finding solutions that provide immediate help to save the lives of children or provide durable support so that those children grow up with dignity, health and an education.  

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