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Sudan bulletin No. 23 – 9 February 2005

09-02-2005 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC activities in the field

 General situation  

Throughout all three Darfur states, violence continues to cause injury and death and to drive people from their homes – with large numbers of refugees crossing into Chad – thus depriving them of access to basic services.

The UN commission of inquiry on Darfur submitted its report to the Secretary-General on 25 January, finding that the parties to the conflict in war-torn Darfur have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.

Among other things, the report advocates " granting full and unimpeded access by the International Committee of the Red Cross (...) to all those detained in relation to the situation in Darfur " , a recommendation welcomed by the ICRC as it is in keeping with the organization’s practice worldwide.

The ICRC supports all efforts to promote respect for international humanitarian law and to prosecute war crimes as a means of enforcing that law.

 ICRC highlights  

Following violent incidents in Port Sudan on 28 and 29 January, the   ICRC, working in conjunction with the Sudanese Red Crescent sent two delegates to assess the local hospital’s ability to treat the injured. The National Society channelled medical supplies to the hospital and sent in a 30-member team of first-aid volunteers to ensure a rapid response to the victims’ needs.

 Training in limb-fitting and rehabilitation  

At the beginning of the year the ICRC limb-fitting and rehabilitation unit in Khartoum launched a course for 12 Sudanese staff from various parts of the country. Under the tutelage of two ICRC instructors, participants in this three-year programme will work toward an internationally recognized diploma issued by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

 Health  

The World Health Organization reported in late 2004 that 105 cases of poliomyelitis had been recorded in Sudan that year. Supporting the Sudanese Ministry of Health's efforts to prevent the spread of this illness, the ICRC joined a countrywide vaccination campaign. In January alone, ICRC staff vaccinated some 50,000 children in different parts of Sudan. This month the ICRC will continue vaccinating children in remote or dangerous areas inaccessible to Ministry personnel.

 Enhanced access to water for 20,000 displaced people  

In a joint two-month effort, the ICRC worked with the British and Austrian Red Cross to improve the water supply for internally displaced people living in the Froika camp near Gereida, in Southern Darfur . The quality of life for the camp’s 20,000 residents improved considerably when the supply of water rose from between two and five litres per person per day to 9 litres per person per day.

 Food distribution  

In Northern Darfur , food distribution continued in Sayah, with over 8,400 persons receiving 240 tonnes of food in six different locations.

A first-ever nutrition survey was carried out southwest of El Fasher in 11 villages with a total population of almost 2,700. As a result, food, agricultural implements and essential household items are being prepared to help the residents.

In Abata, in Western Darfur , 40 tonnes of food were distributed to over 1,400 people.

 Promoting international humanitarian law  

Work to enhance knowledge of the law continued with police forces in southern Sudan. In late January, 46 officers attended a session on the ICRC and humanitarian law.

 Cooperation  

Representatives of the British, Norwegian and Swedish National Societies will visit Darfur to assess operations there by the ICRC and other Red Cross / Red Crescent organizations. This is the second such visit organized by the ICRC to give National Societies an opportunity to see the impact o f their support on the daily life of Sudanese citizens.

    

    

 
 
 
In 2004, the ICRC in Sudan:  
 
  • supplied essential household items to 525,000 persons and fishing equipment to another 10,450

  • distributed 8,500 tonnes of food to 400,000 persons

  • organized the setting up of three camps for displaced people, hosting some 90,000 people

  • upgraded, repaired and expanded five hospitals and three primary health-care units, which have since treated 370,000 persons

  • fully supported four hospitals and 12 primary health-care units with medicines, immunization programmes, training and medical staff carrying out consultations and surgery

  • set up, repaired and developed water-supply systems, providing some 200,000 people with two million litres of water per day

  • collected over 33,800 Red Cross messages (brief, personal messages to relatives) and delivered more than 35,600

   
 
 

    

    

    

 For further information please contact:  

 Lorena Brander Bastias, ICRC Khartoum, tel. +249 9 121 377 64 / +249 1 83 476464/ 65/ 66  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, Geneva, tel. +41 79 217 3217