GENEVA / SUDAN HUMANITARIAN

15-Aug-2023 00:04:33
After four months of war in Sudan, UN humanitarians on Tuesday called for action to be taken to end the conflict which is having a “devastating impact” on people's lives, health and well- being. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SUDAN HUMANITARIAN
TRT: 04:36
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 15 AUGUST 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations flag flying.
2.Wide shot, Attendees and the panel at briefing.
3.SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, UNHCR spokesperson:
“Since the start of the conflict in Sudan on the 15th of April, over 4.3 million people have been forced to flee. This includes over 900,000 refugees and asylum seekers who fled to neighbouring countries and 195,000 South Sudanese forced to return to South Sudan. Within Sudan, over 3.2 million people have been internally displaced, including more than 187,000 refugees already residing in the country at the start of the crisis.”
4.Close up, laptop screen with speaker in background.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Margaret Harris WHO spokesperson:
“The conflict in Sudan has had devastating impacts on people's lives, their health and their well-being. About 67 per cent of hospitals in the affected areas are out of service. In these past four months, since the conflict began, WHO has verified 53 attacks on healthcare which have killed 11 people, injured 38 and along with other disruptions, these attacks have denied access to care for tens of thousands of people.”
6. Med shot, attendees at briefing.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Margaret Harris WHO spokesperson:
“We've also got ongoing outbreaks of measles, malaria, dengue, and they're so difficult to control in this context of insecurity, people moving, population displacement and nonfunctioning laboratories. More than 40 per cent of the country faces hunger, and about a third of children under five are chronically malnourished, making them even more vulnerable to disease. As I'm sure you know, measles and malnourishment equal a death sentence for children under five.”
8.Wide shot, panel.
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, OHCHR spokesperson:
“The High Commissioner is saying that the disastrous, senseless war in Sudan, born out of a wanton drive for power, has resulted in thousands of deaths, the destruction of family homes, schools, hospitals and other essential services, massive displacement, as well as sexual violence, in acts which may amount to war crimes.”
10. Close up, laptop and speaker in background.
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, OHCHR spokesperson:
“The UN Human Rights Office has also received credible reports of incidents of sexual violence, of some 32 incidents of sexual violence against 73 victims as of the 2nd of August. This includes at least 28 incidents of rape. Men in RSF uniforms were implicated in at least 19 incidents as perpetrators, and the actual number of cases is likely much higher.”
12. Med shot, attendees at briefing.
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, OHCHR spokesperson:
“The High Commissioner has urged senior officials in Sudan, during his visit to Sudan and repeatedly since then, to issue clear instructions to all those under their command that there is zero tolerance for sexual violence. Perpetrators must be held accountable and such violence must be clearly and unequivocally condemned.”
14. Close up, screen with panellists.
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Laila Baker, UNFPA Regional Director:
“Some of the disruption in the services and how the disintegration of the social fabric is also leaving many women and adolescent girls at risk for both the lack of health care and that includes 2.6 million women and girls of reproductive age, who require humanitarian assistance.”
16. Close up, attendee typing.
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Laila Baker, UNFPA Regional Director:
“Just to paint that picture for you a bit more clearly. Around 260,000 women are currently pregnant and almost 100,000 of those will give birth in the next three months. Without the critical services, including the hospital and safe delivery, their lives and those of their children and the babies that are going to be the future generation are severely at risk.”
18. Wide shot, attendee tying with speaker in background.
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, OCHA spokesperson:
“The war is destroying people's lives and their homeland and violating their basic human rights. They call on the parties to the conflict to end the fighting, protect civilians, and give humanitarian organizations unfettered access to all people in need in all areas of Sudan. They remind the fighters that attacking civilians, looting humanitarian supplies, targeting aid workers and hospitals are blocking aid. Things we have seen throughout those four months may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
20. Various shots, press briefing
STORYLINE
After four months of war in Sudan, UN humanitarians on Tuesday (15 Aug) called for action to be taken to end the conflict which is having a “devastating impact” on people's lives, health and well- being.

In a statement UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned that the “disastrous, senseless war in Sudan, born out of a wanton drive for power, has resulted in thousands of deaths, the destruction of family homes, schools, hospitals and other essential services, massive displacement, as well as sexual violence, in acts which may amount to war crimes.”

William Spindler, spokesperson for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, noted that over 4.3 million people have been forced to flee since conflict erupted on 15 April between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Latest UN data indicates that more than 900,000 refugees and asylum seekers have fled to neighbouring countries and 195,000 South Sudanese have been forced to leave Sudan.
Mr. Spindler added that within Sudan, over 3.2 million people have been internally displaced, including more than 187,000 refugees already living in the country at the start of the crisis.

Echoing that message, UN World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris warned that some 67 per cent of hospitals in the affected areas were out of service, denying access to care for “tens of thousands of people”. The WHO official further noted that the UN agency had verified 53 attacks on healthcare, in 11 people have been killed and 38 injured.

In the context of “insecurity, population displacement and non-functional laboratories”, Dr. Harris sounded the alarm about the difficulty of controlling ongoing outbreaks of measles, malaria and dengue. Conditions are even more dangerous for children, she said, with about one-third of under five-year-olds now chronically malnourished. “Measles and malnourishment equal a death sentence for children under five,” she said.
The situation is also particularly dangerous for women and adolescent girls, stressed Laila Baker, Regional Director for The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with 2.6 million women and girls of reproductive age requiring humanitarian assistance. Some 260,000 women are now pregnant and almost 100,000 are expected to give birth in the next three months. But without critical services, including hospitals and safe delivery, “their lives and those of their children and the babies that are going to be the future generation are severely at risk”, Ms. Baker said.

The threat of sexual violence is an additional danger for women and girls, warned UN human rights office, OHCHR. According to spokesperson Liz Throssell, OHCHR had received credible reports of some 32 incidents of sexual violence against 73 victims by 2 August. This includes at least 28 incidents of rape. Men in Rapid Support Forces (RSF) uniforms were implicated in at least 19 incidents as perpetrators, but “the actual number of cases is likely much higher,” she said.

Ms. Throssell reiterated that the UN human rights chief, Volker Türk, had repeatedly reminded senior officials in Sudan that there is “zero tolerance” for sexual violence.
“Perpetrators must be held accountable and such violence must be clearly and unequivocally condemned,” she said. Adding to the calls for action, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that the war is “destroying people's lives and their homeland and violating their basic human rights”.

He urged all parties to the conflict to “end the fighting, protect civilians, and give humanitarian organizations unfettered access” to all areas of Sudan. The attacking of civilians, looting of humanitarian supplies, and targeting of aid workers and hospitals throughout the past four months “may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
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