A group of 280 children and their caregivers were evacuated from an orphanage in Khartoum, Sudan, on Wednesday, June 7, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
The children, who ranged in age from newborns to teenagers, were taken to the town of Wad Madani in Eastern Sudan, according to the ICRC. The agency worked with Sudan’s Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Health to coordinate the evacuation, they said.
“Knowing these children are safe is an enormous relief,” the head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan, Jean-Christophe Sandoz, said. “They spent incredibly difficult moments in an area where the conflict has been raging for the past 6 weeks without access to proper health care, an especially hard situation for children with special needs.”
This footage by the ICRC shows clips from the evacuation as well as comments from Sandoz. Credit: ICRC via Storyful
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE SANDOZ: So today we carried out the evacuation of the [INAUDIBLE] Hospital from Khartoum. Goes back to [INAUDIBLE], so it's really in the midst of the conflict. So you have frontlines, which are 800 meters from the orphanage. We are really very happy that we could carry out this operation. So this was requested by both parties. And we could, as a neutral and impartial organization, carry out this operation, get all the security guarantees to be able to carry out this operation.
It was really heartbreaking to see all these children, some of them having mental health conditions and other health conditions, to be there in the midst, really, of conflict. So during the operation, there was some activities, which we heard also. And these children have been there for the past six weeks. So it was really, for us, really a relief to see that we could bring them to safety now and that they can also get the proper medical health care that they can have. Because it's needed to remember that in Khartoum only 20% of the hospitals are working properly. And not all specialties, of course, can be provided to these children.
- That's what I would love to do.
- Waiting for you.
- Thank you very much.
- Thank you.
- [INAUDIBLE] pleasure.
- Thank you.
- OK, take care.