UN: UNICEF calls for a joint vaccination of children in Sudan's troubled areas

New York, US (PANA) - Calling for a joint vaccination operational plan in Sudan, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday outlined the dire situation for thousands of children living in the Nuba Mountains, which remain inaccessible after four years, while conflict in the country continues.

Speaking at a news briefing in Geneva, which was monitored by PANA in New York, UNICEF spokesperson Christopher Boulierac said the agency had begun the vaccination campaign in January 2015 when the first outbreaks had been reported.

He urged all parties to the conflict to commit to the joint vaccination operational plan that had been in place over the last three years, noting that, access for humanitarian aid had not been granted to the three inaccessible areas of the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Jebel Mara of North Darfur, and as a result, children there had not been vaccinated.

Currently, he said, "UNICEF is fully operational", and hoped the call for a cessation of hostilities would "translate into vaccination of the 165,000 children under the age of five in those inaccessible areas".

Sudan's children, said Mr. Boulierac, continued to be affected by outbreaks of diseases including measles, dengue fever and diarrhoea.

He added: "It is children that continue to bear the greatest burden as the double victims of conflict and chronic under development. In addition, some two million children were severely and acutely malnourished, and in all 18 states of Sudan, malnutrition rates were over the emergency threshold of 15 per cent."

Mr. Boulierac also noted that the UNICEF Sudan humanitarian appeal for 2015 was 72 per cent underfunded. Total funding requirements in 2015 are approximately US$117 million, of which only some US$33 million has been received.
-0- PANA AA/MA 7Oct2015

07 october 2015 16:18:27

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