Khartoum is the capital of Sudan and, with a population of 5 million, it’s the largest city in the country. During the decades of civil war, Khartoum saw its share of violence.
Since the signing of a peace treaty, Khartoum has been focusing on developing its industry. Many people have moved to Khartoum in the hope of a better life. However, rapid urbanization has put increased pressure on the infrastructure and many families end up living in very poor conditions.
Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in Khartoum.
In Sudan, poor nutrition is a major threat to the survival and development of children under the age of 5. In fact, the situation has worsened, as nowadays the country has more malnourished children than 30 years ago. While the risk of malnutrition is even higher in rural areas, urban poverty and inequality means that many parents in Khartoum struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. As a result, over 1 in 3 children under five is too short for their age, and this is mainly due to malnutrition. Illnesses such as diarrhea exacerbate poor dietary intake even more, which can have grave long-term effects for children.
Over the last decades, the city of Khartoum has seen an influx of refugees and internally displaced people that fled the violence in different areas of the country. There are over 2 million internally displaced persons in Sudan, many of whom came to the capital. This rapid population growth put a lot of strain on Khartoum’s infrastructure, and pockets of poverty, as well as large informal settlements, developed all over the city. Here, infrastructure such as sanitation facilities, health services and education tends to be limited. Some displaced people are now returning to their homelands, but urban poverty remains a serious worry in the capital.