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Crisis in Darfur Gets Worse

Contact: Patrick Nicholson, Caritas Internationalis, +39 06 698 79 725, +39 334 359 0700, nicholson@caritas.va


DARFUR, Dec. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- Violence is increasing in Sudan's Darfur region almost six years after the crisis began leaving people more desperate than ever according to aid agency Caritas.


Photo: A girl in the Hassa Hissa Camp for internally displaced persons, outside Zallingei.; Credit: Paul Jeffrey/ACT-Caritas


Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organization for 162 national Catholic charities has launched a 2009 emergency appeal for US$11 million to help over a quarter of a million people who have been forced from their homes in Darfur.


"In these desperate times, the humanitarian community has no other choice than to accompany the people of Darfur in their struggle and safeguard their livelihoods," said Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis.


"Through the work of Caritas in Darfur, we continue against all the odds to stand in solidarity with the poor and displaced, who are living in a constant state of powerlessness and despair."


The humanitarian situation in Darfur is worsening with 290,000 people fleeing their homes during the first 9 months of 2008. Over 4.7 million people have been affected since the conflict began in 2003. Up to 300,000 people are thought to have died as a result of the conflict. Many people have fled to Chad and Central African Republic.


Caritas and its partners are one of the biggest humanitarian programmes in south and west Darfur


In 2009, Caritas will:

  • Cover basic needs, including access to clean water and sanitary facilities,

  • Improve healthcare and reduce hunger by providing food to the vulnerable. Provide seeds, equipment and training to help people grow their own food and become more self-sufficient,

  • Boost educational levels by building permanent classrooms in one school and rehabilitating others and providing children with school materials,

  • Raising awareness of human rights to help build peace and provide those who have lost their homes with counselling.


Caritas works with the ACT (Action for Churches Together) in Darfur as the Caritas/ACT alliance. Caritas has been working in Sudan since 1972.