More than four million people have been displaced since fighting began in Sudan nearly four months ago, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
“After sixteen weeks of conflict in Sudan, more than 4 million people have been displaced within the country and across borders into neighbouring countries,” said Clementine Nkweta-Salami, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the north-eastern African country.
“Many of those trapped by the fighting have been unable – and in some cases actively prevented – from seeking safety elsewhere,” Nkweta-Salami said.
“And those that can escape face other dangers: They are vulnerable to abuse, theft and harassment during their journeys to safer areas,” she said.
In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Edem Wosornu, the director of operations and advocacy at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that 1.4 million people fled their homes since June 23 alone.
“Sudan’s descent into a full- blown humanitarian catastrophe has only deepened,” Wosornu told the council, speaking on behalf of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths.
Wosornu also said that 80% of hospitals across the country are not functioning and that 14 million children in Sudan — half of all children in the country — need humanitarian support.
War broke out in Sudan in mid-April following a long-simmering power struggle between de facto president Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and vice president Mohammed Hamdan Daglo.
The two generals had originally seized power together in 2021 but then became rivals.
The fighting is concentrated in Khartoum and the neighbouring cities as well as in the Darfur region in the west of the country.
The parties to the conflict often fight near residential areas.
Sudan has around 46 million inhabitants. (dpa/NAN)