From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
/church World Service Continues Aid Delivery to Sudan
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Fri, 16 Apr 2004 14:54:47 -0700
DESPITE CONTINUED VIOLENCE IN WESTERN SUDAN,
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE DELIVERING AID TO SUDAN'S UPROOTED
Global Agency Will Conduct Emergency Management Training for NGO
Partners in Bahr el Ghazal Province and Nuba Mountain Region
NEW YORK - APRIL 15- Despite a 45-day ceasefire brokered to begin last
Sunday (4/11), one of the graver humanitarian crises in Africa continues
in Darfur province in western Sudan. More than 750,000 internally
displaced persons have fled what is now being characterized as ethnic
cleansing. In the face of persistent violence, insecurity, and difficult
humanitarian access, global agency Church World Service (CWS) reports it
is providing food and basic medicines to displaced populations, with
assistance of its partners in the region.
But, says CWS Executive Director and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough,
"more is needed, and the situation is reaching epic proportions.
Basic supplies such as seeds, kitchen utensils, blankets and hand pumps
are needed, as are basic health services for treatment of common
infectious diseases such as malaria.
McCullough says CWS hopes its present fundraising appeal for the Sudan
crisis will continue to finance emergency aid. "And," adds
McCullough, "to help people fully recover from the disaster, with
further support we also hope to be able to provide access to water,
agricultural supports and tools, and educational assistance for
CWS is also urging the U.S. Government to recommend the following
actions to the government of Sudan, specifically in response to the
crisis in Darfur: the establishment of an independent international
peacekeeping force; the cessation of support for the military; and the
facilitation of humanitarian assistance to affected populations through
providing access and support of humanitarian relief organizations.
In addition to its relief efforts, Church World Service will lead
emergency management training in the Bahr el Ghazal province this month
and in the Nuba Mountains, in Kordofan province, in June, with its
partners the New Sudan Council of Churches and Churches Ecumenical
Action in Sudan. CWS emergency management trainings assist its partners
and other non-governmental organizations working in strife-torn areas to
facilitate peace and reconciliation, civil-military cooperation, and the
return and repatriation of people uprooted by conflict.
Ongoing conflict in Sudan has created the largest internal displacement
crisis in the world, and more than two million people have died as a
result of war. An estimated four million people have fled their homes
to escape fighting between government troops, the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), and several smaller militia groups.
The conflict in Darfur province has undermined efforts in southern
Sudan to complete a peace agreement between the Sudanese government and
the rebel SPLM/A.
Rev. Dr. Haruun L. Ruun, Executive Secretary of the New Sudan Council
of Churches, sent a message of appreciation for "the partnership of
Church World Service in prayer, encouragement, and support for the
peoples" of southern Sudan "who have suffered too long and who now
put their hopes in peace that will prevail at community, regional, and
"Until our cries for peace are heard and answered, our cries for food
will never end, " said Ruun.
CWS also helps to support the ongoing health care needs of people
displaced by Sudan's north-south conflict, who have sought refuge in
camps around Greater Khartoum.
Since rebels took up arms in Darfur province in early 2003, the
volatile conflict has affected the entire region, resulting in large
movements of a population fleeing systematic killings, the burning of
villages, and other human rights violations. Approximately 1.5 million
people are currently affected.
Latest reports say more than 110,000 people have fled western Sudan to
neighboring Chad, severely taxing that smaller country's capacities.
Aggressors are destroying transport ferries to prevent people from
fleeing. The humanitarian community says the ferries need to be
rehabilitated or flights made available.
Displacement camps in Chad report an influx of people with little or no
belongings. People are being housed in schools, public buildings, and
open areas. Lack of clean water and sanitation is contributing to
rapidly deteriorating health conditions. Chest infection is reportedly
on the rise in the camps, says CWS.
When Church World Service partner assessment teams visited south and
west Darfur in December, they reported looting, burning of houses,
destruction of crops and animals, killing, and rape. People are
traumatized, terrified, and totally demoralized.
In March, CWS launched its Africa Initiative, with programs targeting
Africa's most at-risk populations. Later this month, through the
Africa Initiative's Eminent Persons Ecumenical Program, the All Africa
Conference of Churches will send a pastoral delegation to the country.
EDITORS' NOTE: Individuals wishing to support Church World Service
work in Sudan may send contributions to their respective denominations
or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please
designate: Sudan Emergency Relief
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service
is responding, visit the Church World Service Website at
www.churchworldservice.org or phone (800) 297-1516.
CONTACTS: Ann Walle/CWS/New York
Phone: (212) 870 2654
Jan Dragin/New York/Boston - 24/7
Phone: (781) 925 1526
Send E-mail address changes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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