Sudan violence forces at least 450,000 children to flee their homes – UNICEF

11th May 2023


Sudan violence forces at least 450,000 children to flee their homes – UNICEF

Increased humanitarian response is urgently needed as an estimated 82,000 children cross into neighbouring countries, and 368,000 more become internally displaced

UNICEF spokespeople are available for interview

NEW YORK/AMMAN/NAIROBI/DAKAR/DUBLIN, 11 May 2023 – UNICEF is stepping up humanitarian support for children on the move affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan. As violence continues, an estimated 82,000 children have fled to neighbouring countries and approximately 368,000 more are newly displaced inside the country.

According to UNHCR, more than 164,000 people have sought refuge across borders since 15 April, including in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan. In addition, IOM estimates some 736,000 people are newly internally displaced within Sudan since the start of the conflict. Almost 3.8 million people were internally displaced within Sudan prior to the outbreak of violence.

“The brutal conflict in Sudan has exacted a devastating toll on the country’s children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “Thousands have experienced deeply traumatic events or been driven from their homes in search of relative safety. Their situation remains precarious, and continued support and assistance from the international community and humanitarian partners are critical.”

Many communities receiving displaced populations are already affected by multiple crises, with basic services and existing humanitarian capacity already overstretched. The rainy season is expected to heighten access challenges and increase the risks of disease.  The conflict is also disrupting cross-border trade and movement, leading to a sharp increase in food prices in neighbouring countries, with a higher risk of food insecurity in vulnerable host communities.

In Sudan, UNICEF has provided emergency health kits, essential supplies and medicines to hospitals and primary healthcare centres to support the treatment of the injured and access to life-saving and basic health services. UNICEF is also supporting displaced children and families, striving to ensure the continuity of essential services, including the provision of nutrition supplies to help keep more than 80 per cent of facilities functioning in affected areas. UNICEF interventions will also support the provision of urgent assistance to newly displaced children and families and affected host communities in the states where conflict spread remains limited and with the largest number of internally displaced. This week, a UNICEF shipment of water, sanitation and hygiene supplies landed in Port Sudan, with further shipments scheduled in the days ahead.

UNICEF is also working closely with governments and partner organisations in neighbouring countries to step up essential life-saving services and support to these vulnerable children. This support includes:

UNICEF is calling on the international community to urgently support its efforts by providing additional funding and resources to address the growing crisis. With sustained support, UNICEF aims to reach and assist more children in need and secure their rights to survival, development, and protection.



Notes to Editor


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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For more information, please contact:

Danny Smits, UNICEF Ireland, +353 87 1308070,

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