Sudanese wave weapons and chant slogans as they drive down a street to express their support for the Army in Gadaref city in war-torn Sudan on December 29, 2023. Fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries engulfed the aid hub of Wad Madani on December 15, triggering an exodus of civilians already displaced by eight months of war, an AFP correspondent reported. (Photo by AFP)
(AFP) – The WHO called for urgent action Friday to tackle the deepening health and humanitarian crises in Sudan and asked the international community to step up with financial aid.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, said the majority of health facilities in Sudanese regions affected by the war were not working, due to the fighting.
Since April 15, Sudan has been gripped by a war pitting army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against his former deputy, paramilitary Rapid Support Forces commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
In Al-Jazira state, just south of Khartoum, more than half a million people had sought shelter after the fighting overwhelmed the Sudanese capital.
This month, however, paramilitaries pressed deeper into the state and shattered one of the country’s few remaining sanctuaries, forcing more than 300,000 people to flee once again, the United Nations said.
“Urgent action is needed to reverse Sudan‘s worsening conflict amid the deepening humanitarian and health crises, with the fresh displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women and children,” Tedros said on X, formerly Twitter.
Since the conflict broke out in April, the violence has killed more than 12,000 people, according to a conservative estimate by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
“While responding with partners to the acute health needs, including controlling disease spread and addressing malnutrition threats, WHO also calls for increased financial support from the international community to meet the pressing health needs of the affected populations,” said Tedros.
“These include boosting provision of basic health services for the most vulnerable in affected states, where at least 70 percent of health facilities are not working due to the conflict,” he added.
The United Nations says at least 7.1 million people have been displaced, including 1.5 million who fled across the border into neighbouring countries.
Former Ethiopian health minister Tedros has led the UN‘s health agency since 2017.
© Agence France-Presse