Every day in Darfur 80 children die: UN
MELLIT, Sudan (AP) — Myriam Ibrahim does not like to talk about her daughter Fawzia.
The smallest of triplet girls born in May, the infant died last month in Darfur. Now, the 28-year-old mother has just a week of powdered milk for her two remaining babies — and no idea how she will feed them afterward.
“Fawzia started having fever, then diarrhea, and then she died. It was a month ago,” Ibrahim said with the soft, sad smile so common to Darfurian women as they recount their survival.
Each day in Darfur, 80 children under age five die because of malnutrition, disease and generally poor living conditions created by violence in this barren region of western Sudan, the UN Children’s Fund estimates.
When Ibrahim gave birth to her triplets in May, stress and lack of food left her with no milk of her own for her daughters.
After emergency care at the hospital, the triplets and their mother went back to their hometown of Mellit, about 50 kilometres north.
But when Ibrahim, who has three other children, returned to Mellit, the violence in the region had driven off aid workers, and she was among some 350,000 people who were deprived of any medical or food aid.
Thirteen humanitarian workers were killedoverthesummerduetorebelinfighting and a large government offensive.
“Lack of access and the humanitarian pullout likely means that child mortality is going to go up again rapidly,” said Jonathan Vietch, the UNICEF emergency chief for Sudan.
More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in three years of fighting between the government and rebels in Darfur.
An ill-equipped and understaffed African Union peacekeeping force has tried without success to quell the violence.