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£40,000 Aid donation for refugees from fighting in Darfur 1 June 2007

THE Overseas Aid Committee of the Council of Ministers is pleased to announce an emergency aid donation of £40,000 to Oxfam for the provision of humanitarian aid supplies to refugees from the fighting in Darfur, Sudan.

Four years on and the crisis in Darfur is worse than ever. More than two million people in the Darfur region have already been forced to leave their homes and more are fleeing from the fighting each day. In just one week at the end of April more than 1,500 Sudanese people arrived in two refugee camps.

This crisis has also affected the neighbouring country of Chad. Here over 140,000 people have fled from their homes as the fighting has spread across the border. The crisis here is becoming severe with 10,000 Chadian refugees needing assistance in the last month.

The £40,000 donation to Oxfam will help this charity to purchase and supply much needed clean water and sanitation facilities to the refugees. Thanking the Committee for its donation Nick Roseveare, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director, gave this comment:

‘This donation from the IoM Overseas Aid Committee has come at a time when Oxfam were in the difficult position of looking to reduce our lifesaving water and sanitation work to over 500,000 men, women and children, due to a lack of funds. This donation will not just enable us to continue with our existing work in Chad and Darfur, but also help the thousands of people who arrive each month at our camps seeking safety, due to escalating violence.
Please pass on Oxfam's grateful thanks to the Government and people of the Isle of Man who have also donated to our appeal through the Oxfam shop for their support.’

As an example, the Committee’s donation could pay for:

? 40 hand wells to provide lifesaving water;
? 434 latrines; or
? 400 family hygiene kits.

When making the donation George Waft MLC, Chairman of the Overseas Aid Committee, commented:

‘The Committee has been aware for some time of the severe humanitarian crisis that the fighting in the Darfur region has caused. This latest donation, on behalf of the people of the Isle of Man, brings our total emergency aid spending in the region to £67,000 over the last three years. It is our sincere hope that a solution to the fighting can be found in the future to allow the refugees to eventually return to their homes.
In the meanwhile I would encourage the Island’s public to support the recently announced appeal from the Disasters Emergency Committee, to help provide these refugees with all the humanitarian assistance that they so desperately need.’

Donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal can be made either over the phone on 0870 60 60 900, or on the internet at www.dec.org.uk .

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