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Irish aid mission brings nine tonnes of life-saving medical supplies to conflict-hit areas of Sudan
A LIFESAVING Irish aid mission has resulted in nine tonnes of vital medical supplies reaching health facilities in conflict-torn areas of West Darfur in Sudan.
Malnourished children with life-threatening illnesses are among those who will benefit the most from the joint aid mission between Irish humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide and UNICEF.
This is the first shipment of medical supplies to reach many health facilities in the West Darfur region since fighting began on April 15, which has seen over 1 million people flee the country with over 24 million needing aid, most of them children.
The supplies were transported by trucks from neighbouring Chad (where over 366,000 Sudanese refugees are now living in camps) to 10 health facilities in the Kulbus and Jebel Moon areas of West Darfur.
The aid includes sterilised equipment for midwives delivering babies, first aid kits, medicines, vitamins, water purification tablets, equipment for treating malnourished children and test kits for acute watery diarrhoea, which is fatal if not treated.
“These medical supplies are a ray of light in what has been a dark four and half months in Sudan,” said Concern Sudan’s System’s Director, Louise Foster.
“The health facilities we reached had no new supplies since the fighting started on April 15. Many were out of stock of many essential medicines and items needed to treat malnutrition.
“People fleeing conflict in other parts of the region were arriving at these health faculties so this aid is crucial to ensure basic primary healthcare including the safe delivery of children.
“We are hugely proud of our team and UNICEF colleagues who worked together in very challenging conditions to get this aid into West Darfur and we are grateful to the authorities who helped us make safe passage.
“The situation is desperate for many Sudanese families running out of food and drinking dirty water, which impacts children the most with many becoming malnourished and getting seriously sick.”
Concern said it is deeply concerned that almost 6.3 million people are in areas of Sudan that are one-step away from an official famine classification.
The UN-led organisation that issues famine warnings (the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, known as the IPC) said Sudan’s conflict and economic decline has left 6.3 million people (13 per cent of the population) living in an emergency level of food insecurity, which is classified as “IPC Phase 4” and one level below famine (IPC Phase 5).
“We need to prevent famine and do everything we can to help the people of Sudan,” said Concern’s Regional Director for the Horn of Africa, Amina Abdulla.
“More funding for urgent humanitarian support is needed to save lives and prevent further escalation of this emergency.
“We will continue to work with UNICEF and other partners to provide as much humanitarian assistance as we can.”
For more information or to support Concern’s work visit concern.net.
For media queries or interview requests please contact Kevin Jenkinson at email@example.com.
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