Sudan: Emergency aid for people displaced by fighting in Darfur
22-10-2003 News Release 03/70
Geneva / Khartoum (ICRC) – Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes owing to fierce fighting in the Darfur region of western Sudan. More than 40,000 are reported to have sought refuge in neighboring Chad.
To meet the most pressing needs of these people, who have already endured months of hardship, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Sudanese Red Crescent (SRC) launched an emergency relief operation in early October.
During the first phase of the operation, which ended last week, ICRC sanitary engineers and SRC volunteers installed a water pump and storage facilities to provide safe water for both the resident population and the internally displaced people sheltering in Kurma, some 70 km from El Fashir, the capital of Northern Darfur. Basic medical supplies were also delivered to the SRC branch in El Fashir to treat the wounded. In the coming weeks, the ICRC and the SRC expect to provide a total of 100,000 people with blankets, plastic sheeting, clothing, soap and other essentiel items.
The relief operation is poised to expand as new needs are discovered. " We are overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who have been displaced by the recent events in Darfur, " said Dominik Stillhart, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan. " We are doing everything we can to reach as many of them as possible, wherever they are. "
The ICRC is concerned about the current situation and calls upon all those involved in the hostilities to abide by the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, in particular to take all necessary steps to protect civilians from the effects of the conflict.
For further information, please contact:
Sadia Shafaqoj Kaenzig, ICRC Khartoum, tel. ++249 012137764 or ++249 11 476464/5/6
Juan Martinez, ICRC Geneva, tel. 0041 79 217 32 17