297 orphans evacuated from Khartoum to safety: UN

Addis Ababa, Jun 9 (IANS): At least 297 orphaned children have been safely relocated from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum to a transit centre in a safer location in the violence-hit country.

"The safe movement of these incredibly vulnerable children to a place of safety offers a ray of light in the midst of the ongoing conflict in Sudan," said Mandeep O'Brien, the Unicef Representative in Sudan, said in an official statement on Thursday.

"Many millions of children remain at risk across Sudan, threatened by the fighting, displacement and the subsequent impact of on the provision of lifesaving services-their lives and their futures are being endangered by this conflict every day."

According to the statement, the children are under the care of the ministries of Social Welfare and Health, with Unicef supporting the children's medical care, feeding, psychosocial stimulation, play and educational activities, and supporting carers for the relocated children.

The UN body has provided support to rehabilitate and prepare the transit centre where children have been relocated and is working with the relevant authorities in identifying foster families for the children.

Across Sudan, over 13.6 million children are in urgent need of lifesaving humanitarian support, the highest number ever recorded in the country.

The impact of ongoing violence continues to threaten the lives and futures of families and children, leaving basic services cut off and many health facilities closed, damaged, or destroyed.

Unicef is calling for$838 million to address the crisis, an increase of $253 million since the ongoing conflict began on April 15 between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The conflict has so far killed more than 800 people, injured thousands others and displaced at least 1.6 million.


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Title: 297 orphans evacuated from Khartoum to safety: UN

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