As thousands of refugees displaced by conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region cross the border into Sudan, vulnerable children are at risk of being separated and falling victim to abuse.

Save the Children is responding to the crisis, where families arriving in Sudan desperately need clean water, food, a place to sleep, medical care and protection. Urgent relief is needed to help save lives. 

Help Save Children in Sudan

Following decades of civil war, causing large-scale death and displacement, Sudan split into two countries in 2011, creating an independent South Sudan. However, conflict continues between the two successor states, as well as within Sudan’s Darfur and other regions. The country also hosts over 1 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan, in addition to almost 2 million internally displaced people.

For many of Sudan’s children, this means growing up knowing only fear, loss and deprivation. Many live under the threat of violence, as well as the risk of exploitation and abuse. They also often face severe food and water shortages, inadequate or non-existent health care, little hope for an education and one of the highest infant mortality rates.

An estimated 2.6 million children in Sudan desperately need humanitarian assistance now.

Challenges for Children in Sudan

Children in Sudan continue to be hardest hit by conflict, exacerbated by extreme poverty, natural disasters and disease. Violence, including attacks on schools, have contributed to a disproportionate number of Sudanese girls being out of school, further risking their futures.

  • 1 child in 16 dies before their 5th birthday, 9 times the U.S. rate
  • 38% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
  • 48% of children are out of school, and 44% of girls (ages 15+) struggle to read and write
  • 22% of girls (ages 15-19) are married, and 1 in 16 gives birth
  • 6% of children have been displaced by conflict
  • 47% of people live in poverty
Map of Sudan

Our Results for Children in Sudan

Thanks to giving people like you, our work is saving and sustaining young lives, including the over 374,000 children in Sudan we reached last year.

Little 1-year-old Manar, sitting in her mother’s lap, opens her mouth to receive an oral cholera vaccine from a Save the Children health worker.

Your support helped deploy our Emergency Health Unit to bring a cholera outbreak under control in Sudan, including vaccinating little ones like 1-year-old Manar.

  • 311,000 children healthy and nourished
  • 52,000 children educated and empowered
  • 11,000 children protected from harm
  • 3,000 children lifted from poverty
  • 326,000 children aided in crisis

Our Work for Children in Sudan

Save the Children has served as a leading charity for children in Sudan since 1983, starting with our work to provide humanitarian relief during drought-caused hunger crises across the country, then to programming for children and families affected by violent conflict, displacement, extreme poverty and a lack of basic services.

Our current programming focuses on providing children, especially the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach of all, with protection from harm, as well as a healthy start in life and the opportunity to learn – every day and in times of crisis. We also advocate for children’s rights.

Here are some recent examples of our work:

A healthy start in life

  • We’re working to increase access to quality health care services for children under age 5 and pregnant women by implementing health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security and livelihoods programs
  • We’re promoting access to sexual and reproductive health education and services

The opportunity to learn

  • We’re working to ensure children have access to good quality basic education services, develop reading skills and achieve learning outcomes
  • We’re working so that children with disabilities and indigenous children have access to relevant education according to their needs and culture
  • We’re providing education support to underserved populations, including refugees, internally displaced people and host communities – this includes preschool, basic and secondary school initiatives, as well as literacy and accelerated learning programs
  • We’re implementing livelihoods programs to ensure children and adolescents can develop their skills and make a successful transition to adulthood

Protection from harm

  • We’re protecting children from all forms of violence and exploitation by strengthening the violence protection system, with a focus on ensuring the promotion and implementation of the law banning physical and humiliating punishment

Emergency response

  • We’re serving the needs of vulnerable unaccompanied and separated children and children affected by conflict, including family tracing and reunification and psychosocial support
  • We rapidly deployed our Emergency Health Unit to work with the government and other partners to bring the 2019 cholera outbreak under control, including constructing cholera treatment centers, training health works, providing prevention kits and supporting a mass cholera vaccination campaign

How You Can Help Children in Sudan

You can create change that lasts a lifetime for children in Sudan – in so many ways.

Support Save the Children’s mission. Donate to help children in Sudan and around the world grow up healthy, educated and safe.

Sponsor a Child
Be the hero in the life of a child. Sponsorship drives lasting change in children’s lives, families and communities.

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Give a meaningful gift that will help transform children’s lives and futures in Sudan and beyond. There’s something for everyone!

Sources: Facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as our thought leadership publications, including our Global Childhood Report 2020 and Stop the War on Children 2020 report. Other sources include CIA World Factbook and BBC Country Profiles.

Photos: Sacha Myers / Save the Children.


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