KHARTOUM, Sudan – A joint survey carried out by the government and the United Nations found that child malnutrition rates have reached their highest level in three years in war-torn Darfur. The overall malnutrition rate reached 16.1 per cent this year, compared to 12.9 per cent last year.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) continuing insecurity is one of the primary causes. Access to those in need is compromised due to fighting and violence against civilians and aid workers. Other contributing causes are poor feeding practices, inadequate sanitation, low health coverage, and low coverage of special feeding programs.
There are currently more than 13,000 relief workers in Darfur who work for 13 United Nations agencies and 80 private groups, with an annual budget of a billion dollars. Attacks on aid workers are on the rise, making it more difficult to get aid to the 290,000 civilians displaced in Darfur this year alone.
For more information, please see:
AllAfrica.com – New UN Survey Reveals Alarming Malnutrition Rates Among Darfur’s Children – 28 December 2007
AP – Child Malnutrition on Risk in Darfur – 27 December 2007
New York Times – Despite Aid, Malnutrition in Darfur Rises – 26 December 2007